World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey reportedly arrested nephew of prime minister of northern Iraqi Kurdish region on charges of trying to enter into Turkey with shotgun shells authorities say are illegal for hunting, a Turkish daily reported on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s top story of Hürriyet daily claimed it got hand on documents of investigation concerning Matin Barzani, nephew of Iraqi Kurdish region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, who stands accused for trying to bring some 2,500 shotgun shells to Turkey that could also be used in assassinations.
According to the report, Barzani, 26, arrived in İpsala Border Gate with Greece on Dec. 12, 2012. Edirne board guards found 2,500 shotgun shells in the lap top case of Barzani, who is living in Austria, and the guards informed Edirne Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Prosecutor Fahri Mutlu Tosun questioned Barzani, who reportedly said he legally purchased the shotgun shells from Austria and that he holds a valid hunting license. He said he previously carried these kind of shells from Austria to Iraq when he travelled on planes. He added that he faced with no problems when even he didn’t declare what he was carrying.
The shells were sent for expertise examination. Expert Yüksel Zorlu concluded as a result of the examination that the shells are illegal in Turkey. Tosun referred Barzani to court for arrest. Barzani was arrested by 1st Edirne Criminal Court of Peace on Dec. 13, 2012 based on “strong suspicions” that he was trying to smuggle arms into Turkey without permission. Barzani was then sent to Edirne prison, where he is still staying.
The indictment prepared by prosecutors demand up to 7.5 years of prison sentence. The indictment was accepted by 2nd Edirne High Criminal Court, which also upheld Barzani’s arrest.
Barzani reportedly bought the shotgun shells on Dec. 7 and 10 in Vienna. He paid 745 euro for the ammunition with his debit cart.
Hürriyet also quoted a source close to Barzani as saying that the nephew of the Iraqi Kurdish prime minister is a hunting sportman with a license and that he holds licenses from Austria, Bulgaria and Iraq.
The expertise report found that the shotgun shells are illegal in Turkey and are the same type of shells used to assassinate US President John F. Kennedy. Turkey banned the imports of such shells except authorized and state-run institutions.
Other types of bullets could be imported as long as they are declared and approved by the customs authority. This is also applicable to Turkish and foreign nationals who are using Turkish territory as a transit country.Last Mod: 12 Mart 2013, 11:30