View Full Version : Casson: Even head of Italian secret service arrested in Operation Clean Hands.

Magda Hassan
03-15-2012, 11:59 PM
Casson: Even head of Italian secret service arrested


Felice Casson
15 March 2012 / METİN ARSLAN, ANKARA
Legendary Italian prosecutor Felice Casson, who prosecuted members of Operation Gladio, a NATO stay-behind paramilitary force left over from the Cold War in Italy, has said that even the head of the Italian gendarmerie and intelligence agency were arrested as part of the “Clean Hands” operation in Italy and that it was out of the question for these officials not to testify when they were summoned by a prosecutor.
When asked by specially authorized prosecutors whether there was any crisis similar to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) crisis in Turkey last month – when the MİT head and four others were summoned by a specially authorized public prosecutor to testify as part of a terrorism-related probe -- the Italian prosecutor said: “[During Operation Clean Hands] we had to arrest the head of the Italian secret service and gendarmerie. In our system, it is out of the question for the head of the Italian secret service not to show up to give testimony when he or she is summoned by a prosecutor.”
Casson's remarks came during a symposium in Ankara on Wednesday organized by the Turkish Justice Academy and Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), in which Casson shared his experiences of Operation Clean Hands with Turkey's specially authorized prosecutors who investigate terrorist organizations and gangs such as Ergenekon in Turkey.
Ergenekon, a clandestine organization charged with plotting to overthrow the government, is believed by some to be the last living extension of Gladio, intended to counter a possible communist invasion of Western Europe. Many in Turkey liken the legal process against Ergenekon to the "Clean Hands" anti-corruption operation against Gladio in Italy during the 1990s.
At the symposium Casson said there are similarities and differences between Ergenekon and Gladio.
“The Ergenekon terror organization and Gladio resemble each other in that they were both involved in illegal activities and supported by the military,” he said.
With regards to the difference between the two organizations, Casson said Ergenekon and Gladio were created for different reasons and had different goals.
“Gladio was established in American and European countries to prevent Russia's occupation of Europe following World War II. Ergenekon was established in Turkey in the 1990s as a result of ideological motivations. Over time, Gladio was diverted from its main goal, and when it was understood that Russia's invasion of Europe was impossible, Gladio began to get involved in politics,” he said.
Casson said in contrast to Ergenekon Gladio was not a secret organization as Italian and American secret services knew of its existence, but it was involved in illegal activities.
When asked what kind of obstacles he faced while overseeing Operation Clean Hands, Casson said that while Italian President Francesco Cossiga was against the operation, judges and prosecutors took a stance against him and supported the operation, saying that members of the judiciary are independent, hence should be respected.
The Italian prosecutor said there were mixed reactions toward the Gladio investigation from the ranks of the Italian intelligence service, gendarmerie and police and while some members of these units were trying to block the investigation, there were other members who were in support of its progress.
Casson said the investigations into Gladio necessitated complicated monitoring, adding that the investigation lasted for a total of nine to 10 years due to the investigations against those involved in massacres, explosions and assassinations.
“We did not arrest individuals over charges of membership in Gladio, we arrested them due to the crimes they were personally involved in, and many of those arrested were given a life sentence.”

Jan Klimkowski
03-16-2012, 10:30 AM
"Clean Hands", eh?

Change you can't believe in.