UN rights probe into Israel flottilla raid heads to Turkey

A UN human rights inquiry into Israel`s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has begun a two-week visit to Turkey and Jordan to interview witnesses and government officials, the UN said on Monday.

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2010, 00:12 AM IST

Geneva: A UN human rights inquiry into
Israel`s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has begun a
two-week visit to Turkey and Jordan to interview witnesses and
government officials, the UN said on Monday.

The three members of the fact-finding mission flew
to Turkey yesterday and will stay there until August 29,
before heading to Jordan until September 4, the UN human
rights office said in a statement.

"Technical and legal experts are accompanying the
mission which intends to inspect the ship Mavi Marmara in
which nine passengers died on 31 May 2010," it added.

The mission is due to report back to the 47 member
UN Human Rights Council at its next session from September 13
to October 11.

Israeli officials have rejected the council`s
mission as biased.

Israel agreed to back another, separate probe into
the incident, set up by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The three experts mandated by the UN rights council
interviewed unspecified witnesses in London and Geneva last
week, and have met Turkish and Israeli ambassadors in Geneva.

The fact-finding mission is chaired by Karl
Hudson-Phillips, former judge of the International Criminal
Court in The Hague.

Desmond de Silva, former chief prosecutor of the
Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal, and Shanthi Dairiam, as
Malaysian human rights expert, are the other members.

PTI