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FACTDROP: Four different poisonous substances detected in ex-president’s remains


Four different poisonous substances detected in ex-president’s remains

Πηγή: Todays Zaman
Nov 24 2012

Findings of forensic tests conducted on the remains of eighth President Turgut Özal, whose death 19 years ago is now the subject of a new investigation, indicate that four different poisonous substances were detected in the former president's remains, sources from the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) said as the date for finalizing the report approaches.

Sources from the ATK have confirmed to Today's Zaman that Özal may have been poisoned with four separate poisonous substances.

President Turgut Özal, whose body was exhumed from his İstanbul grave as part of an investigation into the circumstances of his death, was killed by a highly deadly poison, according to a report that appeared in a Turkish newspaper earlier this month.

An autopsy report prepared by the ATK said Özal was poisoned by strychnine creatine, a powerful poison that leads to respiratory arrest in 15-20 minutes and could also cause a heart attack.

An investigation into Özal’s suspicious death began earlier this year after a number of witnesses spoke of unusual circumstances on the day of the death of the former president, who was reported to have suffered a heart attack. The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office recently issued a warrant to exhume the remains of the president for toxicological testing.

Among poisonous substances which were found in Özal’s remains were DDT (dikloro difenol trikloroethan), which is used in killing insects and was forbidden in Turkey in 1980, and DDE, which causes heavy damage to the liver after being absorbed by the body.

Experts note that the poison, which is found in nature and the human body naturally, was present in Özal’s body at 10 times the normal level. Experts also detected the presence of cadmium, a chemical element, in his body.

Additionally, experts also found radioactive elements in the remains of the former president. Americium, a transuranic radioactive chemical element, and Polonium were detected in Özal’s remains.

According to the experts, the former president’s body was weakened with Americium and Polonium in the long run, and with the use of DDT his death was accelerated.

The DDT might have been entered Özal’s body through food or drink, experts pointed out. They are now investigating what kind of food the former president had consumed in his meal during his last days.

Özal, the eighth president of the Republic of Turkey, died of heart failure in April 1993 at an Ankara hospital at the age of 65 while serving in office.

Prosecutors decided in September that Özal's remains should be exhumed and an autopsy performed after a state supervisory board, acting on the orders of President Abdullah Gül, released a report in June that voiced suspicions about the death.

The report was ordered in response to the suspicions of Özal's family and friends over the cause of his death and the conduct of the subsequent investigation.

'If true, findings grave'

Commenting on Today’s Zaman’s report, ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) deputy chairman, Hüseyin Çelik, said the findings “are grave.” “The ATK is yet to make an official statement. What should be said will be of course said once the official statement is made. But if these claims are true, this will also reveal how far the gangs which used the power of state in the name of state went and what kind of things they did,” Çelik tweeted on Saturday.

Stating that there have been suspicions over Özal’s death, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said the ATK had “a successful autopsy” on Özal’s remains and that the findings will be released soon. “I personally believe that suspicions over Özal’s death will be eliminated with this autopsy results. He said as the justice minister, he is not authorized to say more at this point before the official report is released.

Özal's son, Ahmet Özal, said the findings mentioned in the report are highly likely true. “I had known this [Özal's being poisoned] from the very beginning. I have been fighting for this [to be revealed] for 14 years,” he told NTV television.

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