Özal’s widow testifies in assassination attempt investigation

November 05, 2010, Friday/ 16:26:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
The widow of the late President Turgut Özal testified in Ankara yesterday in the reopened investigation into a failed 1988 assassination attempt on the former president's life.

Semra Özal was accompanied during her visit to the prosecutor's office by her son Ahmet Özal, who previously testified on the same subject. Semra Özal provided testimony as a witness and also handed over an envelope to the prosecutor containing information and documents that are likely to shed light in the investigation, sources said.

Ahmet Özal told reporters that his mother was prepared to supply the prosecutor with a lock of her dead husband's hair if the prosecution requested it. Özal's subsequent death in 1993 is also being viewed as suspicious, and his family has called on prosecutors to investigate his death as well.

The current investigation is related to the failed assassination attempt; however, sources say that it may be possible later in the investigation to exhume Özal's remains for analysis.

Speaking to journalists as she left the building, Semra Özal said she would not be making a statement as she did not want to influence the ongoing judicial process. “Many others are going to testify. If the prosecution asks for it, we are prepared to supply a lock of his hair. It is also up to the prosecutor whether to exhume his remains,” Ahmet Özal said.

Meanwhile, reports said Turgut Özal's aide Feyzi İşbaşaran had also testified in the investigation on Monday.

Ahmet Özal, the son of Turkey's eighth president Turgut Özal, had earlier accused former National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General Gen. Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu of involvement in a plot to kill his father in 1988. Özal implied in his latest statement that his father's former aide and current Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Arslan Güner could also have played a role in his father's death.

Last month, Ahmet Özal spoke with the Habertürk daily, accusing a general of having planned the 1988 assassination attempt on his father's life, which prompted a prosecutor's office to re-open the investigation. Since then, Ahmet Özal has also called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his father's death. Official records stated that Özal died of a heart attack, but his family argues that the fatal heart attack was induced by poison.

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