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France reopens investigations into the assassinations of three Kurdish women

PKK co-founder Sakine Cansiz was one of the women killed in Paris in 2013

FRANCE has reopened investigations into the 2013 assassinations of three Kurdish women, including Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) co-founder Sakine Cansiz, with allegations that Turkish intelligence was involved.

It follows a complaint filed by the victims’ families in March 2018 with nobody so far having been brought to justice for the killings. 

They pushed for investigations to be reopened, claiming to have documents which prove Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) was behind the murders of Ms Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez.

The trio were found dead in the Paris offices of the Kurdistan Information Centre on January 9, 2013. They had all been shot in the head in what had all the hallmarks of a targeted assassination.

Ms Dogan was believed to be close to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and is believed to have held a number of meetings with then French president Francois Hollande.

However the revolutionary leader Ms Cansiz is considered to have been the main target of the killer.

Turkish nationalist Omer Guney was charged with the killings but died in prison just days before his case came to trial.

It is alleged he had taken photographs of the personal details of around 300 members of Kurdish organisations which were sent and then deleted from his phone.

And a voice recording posted on the internet by an anonymous source is alleged to be that of Mr Guney speaking to unidentified MIT officers about the assassination plans.

Lawyers say the investigation file includes papers which claim the “execution order” was given by four MIT administrators.

The document, entitled “Ref: Sakine Cansiz, Codenamed Sara” is alleged to have been signed by MIT officials Yuret, UK Ayik, S Asal and H Ozcan.

It alleged that an operative known as “Legionnaire” was paid €6,000 to prepare the assassinations and met MIT officers in Turkey prior to the killings.

The decision to reopen investigations was branded “historic” by lawyer for the families Antoine Comte who said “this marks the end of impunity for political assassinations in France ordered from abroad."

French investigators found members of the Turkish national intelligence agency MIT were “implicated” in the triple murder, according to legal sources.

However they were unable to determine whether the killings were ordered by MIT or whether agents were acting on their own initiative.

Mr Comte said: “Prosecutors admit that the case did not finish with the death of the suspect and the judge will look at all the elements, including the involvement of a foreign state.”

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