Mustafa Göktash, a former Turkish colonel and lawyer detained in Bulgaria, says a witness against him was tortured to implicate him in the murder of intellectual and writer Necip Hablemitoglu. Our southern neighbor has sent an official request to our authorities for Göktash’s extradition. In addition to the execution, the 63-year-old officer is accused at home of having participated in a criminal group.
Earlier this week, the Haskovo District Court refused to extradite Mustafa Göktash to Turkey. The magistrates accepted the arguments of the defense that there are no guarantees for the human rights of the Turkish citizen Goktash if he is handed over to the local authorities.
„The guarantees presented by the Republic of Turkey in the course of the proceedings do not sufficiently categorically ensure respect for fundamental rights. They are concerned with ensuring a fair trial and carrying out a sentence if one is imposed. These guarantees are provided for by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by the Council of Europe, of which the Turkish state is also a part”, reasoned the panel of 3 members of the Haskovo District Court. The decision did not it is final and can be challenged by the prosecutor within 7 days.
Associate Professor Necip Hablemitoglu was killed on the evening of 18 December 2002 in front of his house on Cankaya Portakal Cichegi Street in Ankara. On July 14, 2016, a lawsuit was filed in Turkey against 73 people for trying to overthrow the constitutional order by creating an armed terrorist organization. The same is connected by local authorities with the execution of Hablemitoglu. Last on the list is Col. Mustafa Göktash, and right above him is the name of the leader of the ‘Gülen’ movement, Fethullah Gülen.
“I received 3 medals. There is no evidence against me except the testimony of one person. This man’s name is Gökhan Nuri Bozkir. He is a traitor to his own country. He was expelled from the army because he was caught delivering a truckload of ammunition to the terrorist organization ISIS, which killed 150 people in Turkey alone and many more all over the world.I swear I have nothing to do with the murder, I don’t know the victim and when it was committed I was 560 km from the place,” Mustafa Göktash said in the Haskovo courtroom.
According to “Maritsa” sources, Bozkir himself is a major in the special forces, linked to the Turkish intelligence service MIT and involved in covert operations. In the homeland of him he
disgraced and convicted of exporting confidential documents,
and also to supply terrorists with weapons and ammunition. Since 2007, it has been involved in transporting weapons to hot spots in many countries, including Georgia, Iran, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan and Syria.
He managed to escape from his homeland and hid in Ukraine. In 2019 he was arrested on an extradition request. There he raised the curtain on the covert operations in which he participated. After 3 months in the cell he was released under house arrest and fitted with a GPS bracelet. At first instance, the court confirmed that he should be handed over to Turkey. According to unofficial reports, while the appeal was pending, MIT agents managed to smuggle Bozkir out of Ukraine and back to Turkey at the end of January this year.
According to Colonel Mustafa Göktash, Major Bozkir was forced to drown him after the torture. To save himself from repression, the 63-year-old officer and lawyer managed to cross the border into Bulgaria.
“I am not a member of any Gülenist group. Fethullah Gülen’s people sent me to prison for five and a half years with false evidence. When his judges were removed, I was acquitted and released. Well, as then I was both a member of the his group that I spent so much time in the dungeons,” Colonel Göktash told the Haskovo court. He has declared that he wants to become a Bulgarian citizen. He presented two applications to the DAB and the Presidency for protection and asylum.
If you extradite me, my family and I will be left without life guarantees.”
Goktash told the court. According to the retired soldier, human rights have not been respected in his homeland, for which 133,000 cases have been filed.
Colonel Ivan Ivanov and Anton Popov’s lawyers also underlined the lack of respect for human rights in our southern neighbour. They even cited a resolution and report from the European Parliament.
The Turkish authorities themselves had sent the court an official assurance that, if the extradition request against Mustafa Göktash were granted, there would be no inhumane treatment and he would be guaranteed a fair trial. “The Republic of Turkey has not given any guarantees, but rather makes statements of guarantees which are contradicted by the reports of the European Parliament,” says the lawyer Ivanov, who was clearly taken into consideration by Themida.
While the proceedings for the extradition request were underway, the 63-year-old colonel’s health deteriorated. Like 2 weeks ago
suffered a heart attack after the end of the court hearing.
Göktash was placed on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to the cardiology department of Haskovo Medical Center. The medical examiner appointed by Themida stated categorically that the Turkish citizen’s health conditions are not good and he can no longer stay in the detention cell. Thus, Mustafa Göktash’s pre-trial detention was changed from “pretrial detention” to “house arrest”. The District Prosecutor’s Office-Haskovo filed a complaint before the Plovdiv Court of Appeal. The meeting is scheduled for next week.
According to the state prosecution, Göktash should be sent to Sofia prison, where there is also a hospital ward. Prosecutor Nikolay Trendafilov also said there was no evidence against the 63-year-old man that he was preparing for a political trial and physical self-assault. “Mustafa Göktash entered Bulgaria with a green Turkish international passport. Such documents are used by high-ranking people and can enter EU countries without a visa,” said Prosecutor Trendafilov.
The colonel explained that a week ago “Turkish services seized the international passport of one of his associates from his law firm.” The woman was stopped at Istanbul airport. She wanted to come to Bulgaria to testify in court.
11 years ago we did not give Russia the Ahmed One-Armed bomber
11 years ago, at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint, our services detained 31-year-old Ahmed Chataev, nicknamed One-armed. Ahmed is wanted by Russia for terrorism. At first instance, the Haskovo District Court ordered his extradition. Subsequently, the Plovdiv appeals magistrates overturned this decision because Chataev enjoyed the refugee status granted to him by Austria.
The Russian prosecutor’s office accused him at the time of funding terrorist formations in Turkey with nearly $12,000. Before his pre-trial hearing at the Haskovo District Court, Akhmed Chataev was interrogated in custody by officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
Five years later, in June 2016, powerful explosions rocked Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport. More than 45 people died, more than 230 were injured. “The evidence gathered indicates the involvement of the Islamic State”, announced the Turkish authorities. Police suspect eight people of complicity in the attacks. One of them was arrested, four were wanted. The then 36-year-old Chechen Akhmed Chataev, who was previously close to the leader of the criminal organization “Imarat Kavkaz” Doku Umarov, and after his death joined the Islamic State, was appointed organizer of the carnage. The three terrorists who blew themselves up at Atatürk Airport were from Russian Dagestan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Chataev is disabled in the 2nd group. According to human rights activists, he was in a Russian concentration camp after being wounded in a battle in Chechnya. There they cut off his hand and tortured him with electricity, burned his hands with wires.
After the trial, Chataev continued to travel between Austria, Turkey and the Caucasus. According to informed sources, the Chechen is an expert in explosives. A few years after his release from pre-trial detention in Haskovo, Ahmed Chataev also lost his leg in subversive action in Russia, according to sources familiar with his affairs. Ahmed was then treated first in Georgia and then in Turkey. In early 2017, it was announced that Ahmed Chataev was killed during a special operation in Georgia.