'Ergenekon-like organizations spread like cancer'

"Organizations like Ergenekon, a criminal gang allegedly seeking to overthrow the Turk gov't, must be rooted out completely or else they will spread like a cancer throughout society, says legendary Italian prosecutor.

'Ergenekon-like organizations spread like cancer'
Organizations like Ergenekon, a criminal gang allegedly seeking to overthrow the Turkish government, must be rooted out completely or else they will spread like a cancer throughout society, says legendary Italian prosecutor Felice Casson, who discovered the existence of Operation Gladio, a NATO stay-behind paramilitary force left over from the Cold War.

Casson's remarks came at a panel discussion titled "Law, State, Deep State" panel organized by the Young Civilians -- a Turkish NGO known for its use of sarcasm in protests -- at İstanbul Bilgi University on Saturday. Also among the panelists were journalists Hasan Cemal, Yasemin Çongar, Cengiz Çandar and Ömer Laçiner, lawyer Ergin Cinmen and Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu.

Casson underlined during the panel discussion that in democratic countries, political will should be superior to the judiciary and military, saying a "deep state" could be dissolved with a protected judiciary, independent media and well-informed parliament.

He went on to say that similar to Turkey's Ergenekon case, the first Gladio activity in Italy was considered a "small-scale crime committed by local people," adding that he pursued the case instead of closing it. Saying that he was supported by the Italian prime minister of the time, Casson noted the reason for this support was the demolishing of the Berlin Wall, rendering Gladio insignificant for Italy.

Furthermore, Casson said that despite his prime minister's support, the president tried to block his investigation. He added that Gladio held activities that raised public tension and incited public reaction. Casson said Gladio, which made use of small, isolated cells that did not coordinate in their bombing activities, survived for 40 years.

Stressing that the Ergenekon investigation should not be left incomplete, Casson asserted: "You must go to the end in the investigation. There are such significant accusations that you have to go to the end to clarify things. Otherwise this is so dangerous for democracy."

He also said that were he to meet his counterpart of sorts, Zekeriya Öz, the prosecutor on the Ergenekon investigation, he would advise him by saying, "Be transparent; obey the laws to protect yourself; work as a team and establish a team with other members of the judiciary; help Parliament to be included in this investigation' and inform Parliament."

Casson, currently a senator in the Italian Parliament, discovered that explosives used in an attack that killed three gendarmerie officers in Pateano in 1972 were provided from an arms depot belonging to a secret organization. As the investigation developed, the existence of an organization named "Gladio" was discovered. In the course of the ensuing investigation, 622 Gladio members, including two people who served as prime minister and president, were exposed as well.

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Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2008, 08:19
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