Mavi Marmara lawyers hope ICC will try Israeli officials

The lawyers for the Mavi Marmara say they are hopeful court will soon decide to put on trial those who ordered 2010 deadly attack on Gaza aid flotilla

Mavi Marmara lawyers hope ICC will try Israeli officials

World Bulletin / News Desk

Lawyers representing the families of victims of the Israeli attack on the Turkish-flagged aid flotilla to Gaza in which nine Turkish activists were killed in 2010 have told Anadolu Agency they are hopeful the International Criminal Court will try the Israeli officials who ordered the raid.

Lawyer Ramazan Ariturk told Anadolu Agency on Monday that it was hoped a decision due from the the ICC in the coming days on an appeal brought by the Union of Comoros, a sovereign island nation in the Indian Ocean where the Mavi Marmara aid ship was registered at the time of attack, would be favorable.

Ariturk said: "We, as attorneys of the Union of Comoros, have appealed the ICC decision on the framework of Rome Convention.

"We hope that the ICC will open a trial against these individuals (who ordered the attack) and take the necessary penalties."

The International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, opened a preliminary investigation in May 2013 against Israel at the request of the Government of the Union of Comoros.

But on November 2014 the court decided not to investigate, saying the case “would not be of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the ICC.”

Ariturk said the decision was the first time ever that the ICC had rejected an application made by a state to open a trial.

Six civilian ships in the humanitarian aid flotilla were attacked in international waters by Israeli forces on May 31, 2010, as they tried to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Nine Turkish citizens were killed and 30 others injured, including one who died nearly four years after being critically injured in the attack.

Ariturk said the ICC had rejected the application to open a trial against Israel, despite Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda concluding there was a reasonable basis to believe that crimes under the jurisdiction of ICC had been committed on the Mavi Marmara.

But in 2014 Bensouda said the ICC should prioritize war crimes committed on a large scale and that the crimes on the Mavi Marmara were not grave enough for a trial to be opened by the ICC. 

The raid on the humanitarian aid flotilla - organized by Free Gaza Movement, the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief - raised tensions between Israel and Turkey, which recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2013 for the attack, but the two countries have not resolved whether, nor how much, compensation should be paid to the families of the victims.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Mayıs 2015, 17:44