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17:16, 23 August 2012 Thursday

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Israel "not to assign" lawyers in İstanbul Mavi Marmara trial

The court will also invite an expert who speaks Hebrew to court.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israel will not assign lawyers for a trial in which four top Israeli commanders are facing charges for their role in a 2010 Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left nine Turks dead, Cihan news agency reported.

In May 2010 Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara led to the deaths of eight Turkish civilians and one Turkish-American.

A source speaking to the agency has said that Israel will avoid “cooperating in such a process” by refusing to appoint defense lawyers, defining the trial as a Turkish “unilateral judicial process.”

The İstanbul 7th High Criminal Court has already decided to instruct the İstanbul Bar Association to appoint lawyers for the suspects, as noted in court proceedings.

An indictment prepared by İstanbul prosecutors seeks 10 aggravated life sentences for each of the four Israeli commanders, including the country's former Chief of General Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. The other officers are former Naval Forces commander Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom, former Israeli military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin and former Air Force intelligence head, Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi. The court will also invite an expert who speaks Hebrew to court. The trial will begin on Nov. 6.

Ankara wants an official apology from Israel for the raid and calls for the lifting of the Gaza blockade, but both demands have been rejected by the Israeli government so far. With the increased tensions, Turkey has expelled the Israeli ambassador and suspended all military agreements it had with the country.

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