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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow ECHR: Open Questions on f. leftist Cyprus Leader Christofias for seized Syria/Iran Arms' Explosion

ECHR: Open Questions on f. leftist Cyprus Leader Christofias for seized Syria/Iran Arms' Explosion

Geschrieben von ACM
Thursday, 13 July 2017

 echr__open_questions_in_shady_affair_eurofora_400

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-  A 7 Members Section of the 47-Members Strong ECHR, ruling on a case of 13 Killed and 62 Wounded People, by a July 2011 Explosion of Ammunitions Seized from a Ship related to Syria and Iran because of Arms' Embargo, lodged by the Widow and 2 Orphan Kids of a killed Guard, Left many Questions still Open, about the Responsibility of former President of the Republic, and f. Long-Time Leader of Main Opposition Party AKEL (Leftist), Dimitris Christofias (DC).


An Independent Investigator, a Lawyer appointed by the Government of Cyprus, had Earlier Concluded that Christofias bears Main Responsibility for such a Deadly Incident:

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Indeed, his Official 600 pages-long Report found that "the Fate of the cargo had been Decided by the Executive, which, Headed by the President, had completely Failed to take the necessary Measures to handle the matter, including Keeping the cargo Safe in Cyprus. ... the President, over and Above his state office and his institutional capacity, ...had Undertaken to Deal with the dangerous cargo Himself, had had ultimate Control over it, and had been Responsible for taking important Decisions on the subject". This refers "not only to the President’s Statutory and ex officio Political Responsibility, but Also his Significant Personal Responsibility for the Tragic event and its Consequences".

Therefore, "the President bore the Greatest Responsibility for the Inadequacy, Negligence and Remissness that had been shown, and had Failed to take Care of, or at least take Basic Measures to ensure the Security of the Citizens ..., and in particular that of the Soldiers and Firemen" who were killed or wounded, ECHR's Judgement clearly notes from the outset.


+ Moreover, Both a Legal Complaint lodged to the Criminal Law System, (Attorney General and Criminal Courts), by a Head SchoolTeacher, God-Daughter of Historic 1st Cyprus' President Makarios, as well as a Collective Petition signed by many Thousands of Citizens, and a Long Series of UnPrecedented, large Mass Protest Demonstrations, regularly organized right in Front of Cyprus' Presidential Palace during Christofias' term of office, repeatedly Urged that All those Responsible for the Killings and the Destruction of the Country's Biggest Electricity Supply Installation, be throroughly Investigated, Charged and Prosecuted, without any exception, including, particularly, Christofias himself, for whom they all asked to Lift his presidential Immunity, (according to Article 45 of Cyprus' Constitution). Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReport at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cypruspeopleaskchristofiastoresign.html .


[The Leftist, then Governing, Politician, initialy Ordered to Police and Security Forces to Brutaly Attack and Dissolve by a lot of Gas and violence, that UnPrecedented Popular Demonstration of Protest, and this was done, in a very Harsh way. But the Next Day, the Leader of the Main Opposition Party then ("Democratic Rally"): Nicos Anastassiades, a mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP Politician, (who is the Current President of Cyprus Today), Strongly Denounced such an Oppressive move by Christofias, and launched a Vibrant Call to Respect People's Democratic Right to Express their Views on Important Issues for the Society by Peaceful Public Gatherings. Such a Strong and Principled Reaction from Anastassiades, really Helped to Saveguard the People's Right to Demonstrate in front of the Presidential Palace, as they Regularly did, indeed, during a Long Period of Time, from now on, and Reinforced his Popularity, Contributing to his subsequent Win at the February 2013 Presidential Election, later-on, that he won on a Program including Many Legal, Political and Practical Reforms explicitly destinated to Ensure a more or less important "Accountability" of all State's Officers, vis a vis the Citizens, (including the President of the Republic himself), which was Promissed to Become a quite UnPrecedented Innovation in the History of Democratic Life.]


Meanwhile, the Chief of Cyprus' Naval Forces, Amiral Ioanides, was among the Numerous Victims of that ill-elucidated, Huge Explosion near the Florakis Naval Base - in honor of General Florakis, f. Chief of all Cyprus' National Guard, who had been killed at a strange Helicopter Fire/Crash on 2002, together with Senior Officer Demenagas, in charge of Greece and Cyprus' Joint Air Defense, by a coincidence, ...exactly the Same Day of 2002 that EU Parliament's Foreign/Defense policy Committee was Voting, in Brussels, Crucial Amendments on the 1st "European Sky" Draft Directive, including some which were Hotly Disputed by Turkey. By another incredible Coincidence, Both these 2 ill-elucidated Brutal Killings of Top Cyprus' Defense Leaders occured at a quite Similar Date : OverNight from 10 to11 July, (i.e. almost on the Anniversary of General Florakis/Demenagas Earlier Killings) !  


Amiral Ioanides' role would, naturaly, have been of paramount Importance also for the Defense of emerging New Energy Sources', Oil-Gas' Findings and Development activities in Cyprus' EEZ's Seabed, often Disputed by Turkey's interferences. Moreover, the adjacent New Big Electricity Factory, entirely Destroyed by that 2011 Explosion of Seized and Stocked Ammunitions (Comp. Supra), was absolutely Necessary for Cyprus' Energy Needs, and might, even, have been Used (with some Adaptations) in order to Transform Oil-Gas Findings into Electricity, easier to Transfer towards EU's mainland.


Ioanides' Young Son, at a very Emotional moment, spoke, later-on, to (and was largely Applauded by) many Thousands of Demonstrators regularly Gathered in front of Cyprus' Presidential Palace, asking Justice and particularly Christofias' prosecution (Comp. Supra).


Practicaly at the Eve of the Tragic Incident (Monday, 11 July), the former Cyprus' President was visiting Geneva, for UN-sponsored Talks on Cyprus' issue, in the presence of UNO's Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, (Thursday, 7 July), that "Eurofora" covered there,  (See our Press Publication at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/bankimoononcyprus.html), where we were Surrprized by an Exceptionaly very ...Nervous Christofias, (for reasons that he did not reveal), including an Inexperienced Press Secretary (that Mainstream Newspaper of Main Opposition Party DS/ChristianDemocrats-EPP, of Nowadays Cyprus' President Anastassiades, soon Denounced, in 1st Page Headline News, as a new ..."GOEBBELS" of neo -NAZI inspiration, for his alleged Attempts to Oppress and Muzzle Dissident Journalists, whose Political Criticism he didn't like: See authentic Photo-Document).


"Eurofora"s co-Founder met former President Christofias at Various Occasions, during More than a Decade, between 2001 -2012, (f.ex. at the CoE or EU Parliament in Strasbourg, EU Council in Brussels, UNO Talks in Switzerland, Elysée Palace in Paris, etc), but Never Before - Neither Afterwards - we didn't found him so Upset as on 7 July 2011 in Geneva UN Talks, which was, obviously, an UnPrecedented, Exceptional and Unique moment, provoked by Unclear and Unknown yet Causes:


Was it, perhaps, because ECB's then President, Truchet from France, had reportedly Warned him about an imminent Excessive Debt, with Financial Risks, Urging to take some UnPopular but Necessary Measures, particularly against Clientelism, asap, (as Truchet Revealed Afterwards, at an EU Parliament's Hearing in Strasbourg), and/or because Something hadn't, perhaps, gone as well as he wanted at those 2011 Geneva UNO Talks, or, perhaps, also due to Strong Press Criticism against an UnPrecedented Brutal and Violent Oppression, even of Peaceful Popular Demonstrations in Greece, End of June 2011, by the Police at the orders of a discredited "Socialist" PASOK Government in Athens, (which practically ..."Disappeared" from the Mainstream Political spectrum, Later-on) ?  


It's True that Christofias, curiously, Postponed, Immediately Afterwards, a key National Council meeting, Together with all Other Political Parties' Leaders in Nicosia, (initialy Scheduled for Friday, July 8), where he should have Explained his stance at Geneva (Comp. Supra), Changing its Date for Monday, July 11 ... I.e. precisely the Date of that Murderous and Destructive Explosion (Comp. Sypra), which gave a Pretext to Again and again Postpone that RDV several Times in a Long Row, going into Deep Summertime ! So that, when, at last, a Moment Arrived, only Many Weeks Later, for a National Council on those Geneva July 7 UN Talks, then, All Politicians' and Medias' Attantion had been, meanwhile, Focused mainly on that Mysterious "Explosion" and its Consequences, so that almost Nobody paid, no more, sufficient Attention into Finding out what had really Happened back on July 7 in Geneva ...


Today (on 2017) it's for Historians to Find out the Truth of this UnPrecedented Enigma, concerning the Real Motivation of all those Strange and UnPrecedented, as well as Unique/Exceptional Christofias'  moves or spontaneous/provoked reactions, around that Special Geneva UN Talks of July 7, 2011,  practicaly at the Eve of the Deadly and Destructive Explosion of July 10 to 11 in Cyprus' Island's Southern Coasts (Comp. Supra).

>>> But, it's a  Fact that, Nonobstant all the Above-mentioned, convergent Critical moves, raising Key Questions on Christofias' own Responsibilities, (Comp. Supra), and the manifold Importance of the present Affair, (See also Infra), he was Neither Charged, Nor Prosecuted for that, at all, and the subsequent Judicial Enquiry did NOT Include his Wrongdoings.


All this happened During Christofias' ending Term of Office, (until late 2012), Before a New President (issued from the Former Opposition: the Current President Nicos Anastassiades) was afterwards Elected by Cyprus' People at the Beginning of 2013.

=> That's why the Widow and 2 Orphan Children of a Killed National Guard, Michael Heracleous, represented by Lawyer and former ECHR's Member (EuroJudge) Loukis Loucaides, lodged a formal Application to ECHR in Strasbourg, Denouncing an at least procedural Violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects Life. They also denounced a Violation of Article 13, which concerns the "Effectivity" of the protection of Human Rights.


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ECHR's well established Case Law has consistently affirmed that, as a matter of General Principle, in cases of Loss of Lives, Efficient and Transparent Investigations must be made in order to Find, Prosecute and Punish all those Responsible.

In this regard, Many Important Questions still Remain UnAnswered, even After the Ruling of an ECHR's Chamber published Today :

* 1) This Judgement does Not say whether Christofias was really Guilty, or Not :  This crucial Point of Substance still remains Open.
And underlining the Exceptionally Scandalous Gravity of this affair, ECHR compared this Christofias' affair with that of "Ümraniye" case : That of a Poor Family atrociously Killed at her Home by an Explosion of Shit and Waste at a District of Istanbul in Turkey, where unscrupulus Local Managers had let a Rubbish tip Dangerously Accumulate Near Poor People's Homes, "Exposing" them "to All kinds of Risks"....

* 2) Neither does ECHR say now How should have been Interpreted Cyprus' Constitution about Lifting the Immunity of DC, or not : This also Remains an Open, UnAnswered Question, (See f.ex., §37 of this Judgement, etc).

* 3). ECHR does Not even say, Today, whether a Sufficient and Transparent Investigation was ever Made, or Not, by the competent National Authorities, since it claims that these Appliquants, in this Concrete Application, would Not have Contested at all the Efficiency of the Official Investigationn (f.ex. § 36 - 38 of the Judgement Published now).

 

This seems, however, in Contradiction with ECHR Chamber's previous Observation that the Applicants had Complained that the Attorney General's "Duty to Effectively Investigate the Fatal Explosion that had led to their relatives' Death", "had Not been done" because of the Non-Prosecution of former President Christofias (§25, ibid).

+ Moreover, ECHR does Not also say whether the applied "Prosecutorial System" in Cyprus might have some Loopholes, or not, particularly concerning the fact that "it is the Attorney-General, ... who Decides whether there is enough Evidence to justify criminal Proceedings in respect of a particular person" (§ 36), Simply Because it Claims that "the applicants have Not Complained regarding Any “Institutional Deficiencies” in the criminal Justice or the prosecutorial System", as such.


So that, logically, this Question too, would Still remain Open.
This point is Important, Particularly when it concerns a Notoriously Controversial individual as Former Attonney General Petros Clerides, (Nothing to do with Long-Time President Glafcos Clerides, Neither with the New Attorney General, former Judge, Costas Clerides,  UnRelated) : i.e. the Only 1 in the History of Cyprus who was obliged to Resign (on 2013) after Strong and Wide public Criticism accusing him to have MisHandled several Big Cases.


F.ex., among others:


- He was Photographed provocatively Laughing inside Christofias' Palace and with his Cronies, just the Day After a Collective Petition, concerning that Deadly Explosion,signed by many Thousands of Cyprus' People, and even a Legal Complaint lodged by a Head Teacher, God-Daughter of Historic 1st Cyprus' President Makarios, both Asking for Christofias' Prosecution, (Comp. Supra), had been officialy Presented to his Office, where arrived also a Damning Report by an Independent Investigator appointed by the Government, (See, attached Herewith, that Photo, which, obviously, does Not give a good Impression of Impartiality to the People)...


- P.C. was largely Criticized for the way he mishandled not only that Deadly Explosion affair of July 2011, but also that of the Most Deadly Airplane Crash in Cyprus' History: that of "Helios" Company, nearTurkey's Bordersn back on August 2005; as well as for Dragging his feet in the Investigation of the Brutal Killing of a Young Russian Girl, shortly after Refusing to be Exploited as a Prostitute by her Boss, (the famous "Rantsev" case, Cited by Today's Judgement, where ECHR has Condemned in 2010, precisely, the Lack of any Effective Investigation :

An UnForgetable case, particularly after the Emotional Calls for Help by the Aged Father of the Victim, including in a Press Conference at the CoE in Strasbourg, in Letters addressed to "Eurofora", etc., vainly Seeking Truth and Justice on his Daughter's Brutal and Unelucidated Death) ; but also in the case of Poor Ukranian Sailors, scandalously Abandoned alone and Unpaid by their Boss, at a Cyprus' Seaport, where they Risked to Starve and were even reportedly Ill-Treated by some Policemen, (withOut Petros Clerides making any Prosecution against the Culprit); and even in a Case of Journalist's Freedom, lodged with a Written Complaint by a Lawyer, Wife of a Victim, back on 2008, (to which P.C. did Not even Dare Reply by Writting, but Only Phoned for a Brief Oral Contact, in which, when he found himself Unable to Reply to the Legal, Political and Human Arguments presented, he merely ... Closed Brutaly his Phone, withOut Giving the Slightest Answer, as "Eurofora" heard - Tape Recording available); etc. Finaly, Mr. P.C. was notoriously found, once again, Personaly Mixed in a Scandal where he Droped any Sanction on a Car Driver found dangerously Drunk and Evading Taxes, who was ...his own Son !

+ Moreover, even the System itself, of Attorney General's "Discretionary Power" to Initiate, or Not, a Prosecution against those Denounced for Crimes, was Strongly Criticized also at the level of CoE's various Monitoring Bodies competent on Human Rights/Democracy/Rule of Law issues, (including by ECHR), as "Eurofora" has observed in Strasbourg.
-----------------------------------
> But this ECHR Chamber claimed, in fine, that it would Not Exist any Right, fot anyone, to ask for a particular Suspect to be Prosecuted, (despite the eventual Importance of his Involvement): -"Article 2 does Not entail the right to have third Parties  Prosecuted – or Convicted – for a Criminal offence", according to that ECHR's Chamber (§31 + 37 , ibid).

+ Today's ECHR Chamber's Ruling also Claims that it would "Not" be its "Task to ... Decide Whether, in the Cirumstances, the Attorney-General could or should have Lifted the President’s Immunity", or Not, (ibid).

=> Only Based on such Considerations, just "in the Present Case" (i.e. Not necessarily in General), this Chamber's Ruling Claims that "it canNot be said ... that the domestic Authorities Failed ... to conduct an Effective Investigation, capable of leading to the establishment of the Facts and Identifying and, if appropriate, Punishing those Responsible".
It's Exclusively "having regard to the above", i.e. Argying Only the above-mentioned Claims, that an ECHR's Chamber "rejected" now, specifically "The Application" of the Widow and the 2 Orphan Children of the Brutally Killed Guardian, qualifying it as "manifetly Ill-Founded", (by Copying a Wider,"Passe-Partout" Wording of the PanEuropean Convention's Article 35 §3(a) and 4).


-------------------


>>> Nevertheless, Curiously, at the Same Time, ECHR reiterated its Established Case-Law, acording to which, States are Obliged to Investigate and Prosecute all those Suspect of having unduly Exposed the Life of Victims to Dangerous, Life-Threatening situations. (§ 28  of this Judgement):


-  I.e., even Opposite to its own previous Finding that, as a matter of General Principle, "those Responsible for enDangering Life" Must be ''Charged with a criminal offence or Prosecuted",  because, Otherwise, an Ommission of that, "may amount to a Violation of Article 2" (Protection of Human Life) of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights.


+ Moreover, such a Conclusion appears Contrary also to anOther ECHR Judgement's earlier Finding, which "Sum(s) up" what is "Required" by the Convention in affairs of Human Life, concerning the "Minimum Standards" that the "official Investigation" must "satisfy", Stressing that "the competent Authorities Must ...of their Own Motion, Initiate Investigations capable of ... Identifying the State Officials ... Involved, in Whatever Capacity (NB), in the Chain of Events in issue", (§ 29, ibid).


But, Obviously, this was Not done at all (by that Attorney General), as far as Christofias is concerned, Despite the Fact that he, UnDeniably, played the 1st Role in the Chain of Command at this affair ..., (Comp. Supra).


An Investigation including Christofias would, However, be useful for Both Sides, since he apparently had at least some Interesting things to Claim while Attempting to Alleviate or Hide his own Responsibilities:  As, f.ex., the critical Observation that a Summer Heatwave over Dangerously Abandoned Ammunitions, would Not, normaly lead to an Explosion ..."at 4 o'clock in Early Morning", as he pointed out much Later, apparently Implying that Something Else might have provoked the Tragedy : An extreme, but Not Excluded a priori Hypothesis, that does Not seem to have been really discussed in depthh, neither fully examinated.


----------------------------------------------


=> Therefore, in a so Important affair, as that of the Explosion at "MARI/FLORAKIS" Naval Base, concerning 13 People Killed and 62 Wounded, as well as a former Long-Time Top Political (Leftist) Leader, and Weapons' Embargo, around Syria/Iran, etc. on 2011, and Destroying a Country's Biggest Electric Energy Supply Factory, (etc)


 - i.e. approximatively  Equivalent to the infamous ..."BENGHAZI" Killings/Arms Smuggling rumours' affair of Hillary Clinton, which broke out on 2012, but still Occupied a lot the Latest, 2016 US Presidential Election Campain -


given also all those Controversial, Thorny and Complicated, but obvious, possible Legal Controversies mentioned Above, (Comp. Supra),


it canNot be Excluded that, in a Few Months from now, ECHR's Grand Chamber (with 17 Euro-Judges), might, eventualy, be invited to pronounce itself on this ECHR 7-Membes' only Chamber's Ruling published Today.

Such a Legaly possible and Legitimate (Comp. Supra) Development canNot be Excluded "a priori", if the Applicants' (the Widow and 2 Orphan Kids of a Brutally Killed Guardian)Lawyer, an Experienced former ECHR's Euro-Judge known in Strasbourg, decides to ask from the competent ECHR's Panel to Confirm the Reference to ECHR's "Great Chamber" for a Fresh, Wider and more Careful Review by a Bigger Number of much More Experienced Euro-Judges, than this Simple "Chamber" of Only 7 Members,  Headed by a Young and New Chairwoman just elected, in her New Job, only on ...February 2017 !

Accompagnied also by at least another 3 "New" EuroJudges, just Elected during the Last 3 Years (2015, 2016, and even ... April 2017 !), - but Only with 1 (one) Euro-Judge already Working in the ECHR at the Moment of that Deadly Explosion at the "Mari/Florakis" Naval Base : a Socialist Spanish Judge, Alone in that Chamber to have started Working at the ECHR Before that 2011 serious Tragic Incident), she couldn't, obviously, dispose, already now, of the Same Means and Experience as ECHR's Great Chamber's 17 mostly Long-Time Euro-Judges, obviously Able to have much More Chances to reach a Better Balanced, more Seriously Examined, and Convincingly Motivated, Final Decision, with a fully-fledged, Better and throroughly Motivated ECHR Judgement, in such an Important, Tragic, and Standard-Setting Case.


----------------------------------


Last, but not least, this ECHR Chamber's ruling, (in fact Decided already since Last Month : on June), wasn't made Public but Only on the 13th of July, i.e., when most European News Journalists should, normaly, either attent or follow remotedly, what was going on, in Paris, between Macron, Merkel, and Trump, who were notoriously visiting the French Capital, Exceptionaly, the one after the other, (followed by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Later-on).


Moreover, the relevant Press Communiqué Dated July 13th, does Not even Mention this ECHR's Judgement, Despite the obvious  Importance of this Affair, concerning a former President of an EU Member State, the Arms Embargo affecting Syria and Iran, Russia and USA, as well as the UN, a Tragedy with 13 Killed 62 People, the Accountability of States' Highest Authorities, (etc).


----------------


The Only (Brief) Public Mention of this Important Affair by the Secretariat of ECHR had been done Back on ... July 7, i.e. again a Notoriously OverLoaded Date, coinciding with the Opening and the Most Crucial Day of the 2017 "G20" Summit in Hambourg (Germany), where "Eurofora" was (Comp., f.ex.: ....), and 2 CoE's Human Rights' Conferences in Strasbourg, as well as the UN Secretary General, Guterres' arrival to Nearby Geneva, for the crucial Conclusion of an Important Quadrilateral Political Top Meeting on Cyprus' Issue, (with the UK, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey)...I.e. PanEuropean/International Events that Medias like "Eurofora" should, normally, strive to Attend or Follow...


Event then, it's Barely Mentioned, in one word, Only at the End of a Press Release, Lost among a Bief List of usualy "Banal" and/or Repetitive Cases, that ECHR's Secretariat usualy Choses to Not Present at all.


But, such an UnDeniably Important and Tragic Case, certainly Deserves a Better treatment than that...


Will ECHR's Great Chamber be given a Fair Chance to do so ?
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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
-------------------------
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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