ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
The way is open for an investigation into a controversial arrest in the Ergenekon case that ended with the accused developing a terminal illness, as parliamentary officials accepted that human rights violation may have occurred.
Following a meeting yesterday between members of the parliamentary Human Rights Committee and Sabriye Okkır, the widow of Kuddusi Okkır, a man who died of cancer he developed while under arrest as part of the Ergenekon investigation, committee head Zafer Üskül said the parliamentary group is still investigating the death. He had previously argued that no human rights violations had occurred.
Üskül said he would inform the press when the probe is concluded. Meanwhile, Okkır told Üskül that her husband's death was caused by neglect and asked committee members to be more sensitive to the issue. She refused to comment on the meeting to the press, saying she would come up with a statement once the investigation is concluded.
Reports suggest that Parliament Speaker Köksal Topan was influential in softening Üskül's position. Toptan met with Üskül to request that the committee launch a probe into Okkır's death.
The Human Rights Committee will analyze documents on Okkır's death and take a stance based on their findings in the upcoming days.
Death before indictment
Businessman Kudsi Okkır was arrested last year for alleged financial assistance to the so-called Ergenekon gang. He died last Saturday at Trakya University Faculty of Medicine facilities in the Edirne province. Okkır spent a year in prison without seeing the indictment for the trial for which he was put behind the bars.
Parliament's Human Rights Committee issued a statement confirming that Sabriye Okkır asked the committee to reveal whether the prison administration had any fault in her husband's death.
Üskül was quoted in the statement as saying, �Justice Ministry inspectors or the Turkish Medical Association will investigate Okkır's death and the commission will look for human rights violations to take necessary action. The Constitution bars us from interfering in an ongoing trial�.
The committee may demand an investigation in its report about those responsible for human rights abuses, to be submitted to speaker's office.