US embassy cable - 02ANKARA7848

GOT REITERATES CONCERN ABOUT POSSIBLE PAROLE OF MURDERER OF TURKISH DIPLOMAT

Identifier: 02ANKARA7848
Wikileaks: View 02ANKARA7848 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ankara
Created: 2002-11-04 15:55:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PTER TU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 007848 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SE 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/04/2007 
TAGS: PREL, PTER, TU 
SUBJECT: GOT REITERATES CONCERN ABOUT POSSIBLE PAROLE OF 
MURDERER OF TURKISH DIPLOMAT 
 
REF: ANKARA 7589 AND PREVIOUS 
 
 
Classified by DCM Robert Deutsch; reasons 1.5 b and d. 
 
 
1. (C) Ahmet Banguoglu, MFA Director General for Bilateral 
Political Affairs (Americas), told DCM November 4 the GOT 
remains highly concerned about the possible parole of Harry 
Sassounian, convicted in 1984 of the 1982 assassination of 
Turkish CG Kemal Arikan in Westwood (L.A.).  Banguoglu said 
he understands Sassounian has been offered parole though some 
kind of "secretive deal," which the GOT considers "totally 
unacceptable."  He said parole would contradict, and could 
undermine, U.S. efforts against terrorism, and would be seen 
very negatively by the Turkish public.  DCM said there had 
been no "deal" to parole Sassounian; a judge had ruled that 
he could be considered for parole in 2007. 
 
 
2. (C) Banguoglu said the Turkish Embassy in Washington had 
reported that both the U.S. Federal Attorney General's office 
and the Los Angeles Attorney General's office might convey 
their opposition to parole for Sassounian.  The GOT would 
greatly appreciate a strongly worded argument against parole, 
and is prepared to submit its own opinion to the parole 
board.  The USG and GOT should work together to block a 
parole decision.  DCM said the U.S., like Turkey, has an 
independent judiciary, and therefore the federal government 
has limited influence in these types of cases.  However, the 
U.S. administration shares the GOT's view that sentences for 
terrorist actions should be severe and will work as 
aggressively as possible within legal limits to see that 
unwarranted parole is not granted in this case. 
 
 
3. (C) Action Request: Post highly appreciates Department's 
rapid response to our initial request for clarification 
(Reftel).  In light of continuing high-level GOT concern, 
please advise further on Sassounian's status and the nature 
of the ruling on his eligibility for parole.  Please advise 
also on the legitimacy of a filing opposing eventual parole 
so we may share the status of possible USG actions in this 
case. 
 
 
 
 
PEARSON 

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