ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Officials in France have reopened an investigation into the 2013 Paris killings of three female Kurdish activists after a request from their families.
The victims’ families had asked French officials to investigate the role of Turkish agents in the murders, AFP reported on Wednesday.
Sakine Cansiz, the co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), along with two other female Kurdish activists, Fidan Doğan, and Leyla Şaylemez, were murdered on Jan. 9, 2013, in Paris, France.
The PKK, who have been fighting for broader Kurdish rights in Turkey, is deemed a “terrorist” organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.
Omar Guney, a Turkish citizen in his thirties, was the main suspect in the murder case. He was charged with killing 54-year-old Cansiz but lost his life in a hospital in December 2016 from a brain tumor before his case came to trial.
After his death, the case was closed as the victims’ family members began to fear that justice was lost for the three murdered women.
However, according to AFP, the families had filed a complaint in March 2018, which led to the appointment of a Paris anti-terror judge for the case.
The families of the victims presented documents they said proved Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) was involved in the killings despite the group’s denial of any role in 2014.
French investigators had concluded that MIT was “implicated” in the triple murder, but they were unable to determine if the organization backed the operation or whether its members acted on their own.
Guney was allegedly active in espionage, maintained secret contacts with people in Turkey, and even planned to escape prison in a plot which involved an MIT agent, AFP reported.
The complaint, filed by the families and seen by AFP, quotes from statements allegedly made by two Turkish spies who were captured by the PKK in 2017, in an operation named after Cansiz.
Their statements purportedly pointed to the involvement of Turkish intelligence in the killings.
The complaints pushed prosecutors in Paris to launch an investigation into the alleged involvement of a terror group in the murders, a judicial source told AFP.
Antoine Comte, a lawyer for one of the families, described the decision as “historic.”
“This marks the end of impunity for political assassinations in France ordered from abroad,” he told AFP.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany