A lawsuit in the United States has been filed against former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for his role in the 2010 Israeli commando attack upon the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in which eight Turkish citizens and one US citizen were executed by Israeli forces and more than 50 Turkish passengers were wounded. The trial will be the first time a former Israeli Prime Minister will be put on trial for reasons of international terrorism.
The family of Furkan Doğan, the US citizen who was assassinated in the attack, filed the lawsuit in the Central District Court of California and notice of the trial was handed to Barak on October 20, in Los Angeles when he spoke in the Distinguished Speaker series of Southern California.
According to a press release from the Turkish International Humanitarian organization that sponsored the Mavi Marmara ship, charges against Barak include his planning and leadership in the murder of Furkan Doğan and others in international waters, willful killing, attempted willful killing, intentionally causing serious injury to body or health, international terrorism, plundering, intentionally causing damage to property, restriction of people’s freedom and instigating violent crimes.
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US attorneys Hydee Dijsktal and Dan Stormer, the British law firm Stoke & White, UK Professor Dr. Geoffrey Nice and UK attorney Rodney Dixon are the legal team for the Dogan family.
Ehud Barak was almost arrested in France in 2010 when he went to a weapons expo by hopping off the plane last minute, with the trial opened against him by the wives of martyrs in France.
Other legal proceedings against Barak and other senior members of the Israeli government are in the works. In 2010 in France, the widows of Cevdet Kılıçlar and Necdet Yıldırım, two others executed by Israeli commandos, brought a lawsuit against Barak, which he evaded when he was informed of the French lawsuit as he was about to deplane in Paris to attend a weapons expo in France.
In the case brought in the International Criminal Court (ICC), the ICC prosecutor has ruled that the attack by Israeli commandos upon the Mavi Marmara in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a war crime.
Additionally, the 7th High Criminal Court in Istanbul, Turkey, has issued a “red notice” for the arrest of four senior Israeli government officials in a lawsuit filed in Turkey. The Israeli officials named by the court are Israel’s former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former navy chief Eliezer Marom, former military intelligence head Amos Yadlin and former air force intelligence chief Avishai Levy.
Due to political considerations dealing with the state of Israel, the Ministry of Justice of Turkey has delayed sending to Interpol the “red notice,” much to the consternation of those seeking justice.