On the ninth anniversary of the ‘2013 Paris assassinations’ that left three Kurdish women dead in the French capital of Paris nine years ago, the lawyer representing the victim’s families described the case as ‘the first break in the history of political assassinations in France.’
He also noted that the confessions of senior Turkish intelligence officers interrogated by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in N. Iraq played an essential part in the re-opening of the case in 2019.
Speaking to Mark Campbell from Medya News, the well known French human rights lawyer Antoine Comte referred to historical cases of political assassinations, and especially to the case of the legendary Moroccan opposition leader Ben Barka who had been disappeared in Paris in 1965, noting how the states behind the attacks managed to stay in the dark even after incredibly long periods of time.
Comte underlined that in the case of the 2013 Paris assassinations, the prosecutor’s accusation against the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) eventually made the case a historically important one, and a ‘break’ in a long tradition of practical impunity for foreign states in various cases of political assassinations.
“This break was the accusation the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions] made against the secret services of Turkey. This has never been done before. As I said, the authorities have always been very cautious not to involve the criminal state. In this case, the DPP decided to involve the criminal state. And he said, this is Turkey. So this is the case and this is why it is an important case.”
On 9 January 2013, Sakine Cansız, one of the co-founders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and a legendary figure in women’s struggle, Fidan Doğan, the representative in France of the Brussels-based Kurdish National Congress (KNK), and Leyla Söylemez a young Kurdish political activist in France, were all killed at the office of the Kurdistan Information Centre in Paris by an assassin who would later be identified as Ömer Güney. After the case was closed in 2016 following Güney’s death in hospital due to a brain illness, it was re-opened in 2019.
Comte referred to the confessions by high ranking Turkish intelligence officers who had been captured by the PKK in a period between 2015 and 2016, as ‘elements’ that enabled the re-opening of the case.
“The elements they gave were very important because they explained the hierarchy of the MIT and how a decision of that nature, the assassination of three women in Paris, has to in fact be accepted by the summit of the state; in other words, the present president, Erdogan. That’s the case. So, this is why we obtained from the DPP that the case should be reopened. Because X, meaning the unknown authors, or accessories or whatever you want to say, have not been identified and therefore the case has to go on. And this is what is going on at present.”
Comte also affirmed that the case constituted new grounds for investigation into covert operations and other assassination attempts by the Turkish intelligence all over Europe.
“This case has not been closed, it’s been closed once, but it’s still going on with new evidence coming from all over Europe, and we now know, that in Europe, you have networks of intelligence, Turkish intelligence, trying to assassinate different people, Kurdish or Turks, because they are opponents.