The decision is political, says lawyer Fermon as Belgian justice acquits Turkish assassination team

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NEWS CENTER - In the assassination case against Kurdish politicians in Brussels, the court issued an acquittal verdict. Kurdish rulers and their lawyer, Jan Fermon, said the decision was "purely political."

The verdict hearing in the case of the assassination attempt against KONGRA-GEL co-chair Remzi Kartal and KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council member Zübeyir Aydar in 2017 was heard in Brussels.

Following the first hearing on March 11, the verdict was set to be announced on April 22nd, but was postponed until May 13.

The decision hearing today was attended by Aydar, Kartal, and lawyer Jan Fermon. On the other hand, the defendant Necati Demiroğulları's lawyers attended the hearing.

MEMBERS OF TURKISH ASSASSINATION SQUAD ACQUITTED

The members of the Turkish assassination squad were acquitted by the court. While acknowledging the significance and accuracy of the evidence in the file, the judge argued that it was insufficient for conviction, casting doubt on all charges. The judge argued that because the Turkish intelligence agency MIT is a state unit, it cannot be deemed a "terrorist organization." The prosecutor, on the other hand, had already been attempting to drop the case from the start. Another notable feature of the judge's ruling was that it was satisfied with a single sentence uttered by the police regarding the French investigation. The members of the assassination team were acquitted by the French police with a single sentence. The court relied on this account.

FERMON: EVIDENCE WAS BOTH ACCEPTED AND DOUBTED

Speaking to ANF, lawyer Jan Fermon said, “On Monday, we will receive the detailed ruling. We don't have all the information yet, but we've looked at the justifications in brief. After reviewing all of the evidence in the file, the court concluded that something was wrong. For example, the defendants' conversations with words like a "bloodbath." But then it called into question all of the evidence.”

Fermon added, “They listed all the evidence in the file to say ‘it isn’t enough’. The entire French investigation is summed up in one sentence: "The French police say there is not enough evidence.”

'BOMB' IN FRANCE'S HAND: ZEKERİYA ÇELİKBİLEK

According to case documents, one of the accused, Zekeriya Çelikbilek, works for both French and Turkish intelligence. The file contains conversations among them on the Turkish assassination team's part in the murder of three Kurdish female revolutionaries, Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez, in Paris in 2013. According to Fermon, France's acceptance of this has the effect of a "nuclear bomb."

JUDGE'S STRANGE DEFENCE OF MIT

Pointing out that another noteworthy detail is about MIT, Fermon said, “According to the judge, I said that the persons in question were from MIT. We never said anything like that. We just stated that they were in a relationship but the judge said, 'You mentioned they work for MIT, MIT is legally a state service and cannot be a terrorist.  They cannot be from a terrorist organization if they work for MIT.’ The court's verdict is a decision to see 'how we will get rid of this issue?'.

Attorney Fermon stated that the decision was purely political and added, “This is the state's mind. It is not a decision based on the case file. With this evidence, a court would clearly rule on a conviction in this case.” He noted that they will examine and make a decision after getting the detailed ruling.

AYDAR: IT’S THE RESULT OF INTERSTATE RELATIONS

Zübeyir Aydar, one of the plaintiffs, pointed out that the decision was affected by "interstate relations" and said that; “From the beginning, the prosecutor inclined toward not launching a lawsuit. A political decision has been made here based on the Ukraine war, relations with France and Turkey. We can observe that such a decision was made to avoid interstate crises. We will file our complaint and will take it all the way."

KARTAL: THE DECISION IS UNACCEPTABLE

Remzi Kartal, reacting to the acquittal of the MIT, which is under accusation, said, "This is where the issue arises."

Listing the MIT's offenses as "terrorist attacks," "kidnapping," "torture," "provocation," "assassination," and "Paris killings," among others, Kartal said, "The decision is completely political, and it is unacceptable. We will file an appeal and pursue our case in higher courts.”

BACKGROUND OF THE CASE

The case into the assassination attempt led to the decision to launch a lawsuit on June 18, 2021.

In the case heard at the Palace of Justice, Zekeriya Çelikbilek, Yakup Koç, Necati Demiroğulları, and Hacı Akkulak were put on trial. Only the lawyer for Necati Demiroğulları was present in the hearing, while others were tried in their absence.

While the file compiled by Aydar's and Kartal's lawyer, Jan Fermon, indicates a vast network of assassinations and espionage across Europe, it also provides information on the role of several participants in the Paris Massacre, including Turkey's former ambassador to Paris, İsmail Hakkı Musa. The file contains important conclusions that individuals involved in the Brussels assassination attempt were coordinated by İsmail Hakkı Musa.

In June 2017, members of the assassination team were spotted spying around the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) building and were taken into custody by authorities. During the search, a Turkish police ID was discovered on Yakup Koç. Zekeriya Çelikbilek was also confirmed to have a military background. It is understood that Necati Demiroğulları, who lives in Belgium, are occupied with works such as logistics and recruiting more personnel to the team.

After being used as a spy, Hacı Akkulak, who is of Kurdish origin, learned that the incident has led to the assassination and gains importance as the person who confessed to Belgian authorities. Demiroğulları, a businessman, is said to have introduced Akkulak to the assassination team.

While Yakup Koç fled to Turkey, Zekeriya Çelikbilek remained in France. The plotters of the assassination scheme are Çelikbilek and Yakup Koç, who introduce themselves as electricians.

Direct links between those involved in the assassination team and Ankara, as well as the Turkish Presidential Palace, have been established. The technical monitoring, phone calls, photos, and confessions obtained, particularly in France, demonstrate that a vast network of assassinations, ranging from the Paris Massacre to the Brussels assassination attempt, is operating throughout Europe under the command of Ankara.

At the first hearing, Aydar and Kartal's lawyer, Jan Fermon, demonstrated the assassination team's connections, chats with the chief of SADAT, Adnan Tanrıverdi, and photographs taken in Paris and the Palace with Seyit Sertçelik, one of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's close advisers.

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