Islamic Terrorist or Innocent Man?
by David Eade
Sat 15th Feb 2014
Spaniards and Gibraltarians will remember well the case of Cengiz Yalcin. However as the British, French and USA secret services were claimed to be involved in his arrest, the case probably reverberated around the world.
Yalcin, a Turkish national, working in Gibraltar and living in the Spanish border town of La Línea, was arrested on the 1st August 2012 on terrorism charges. Two Chechens were also detained as they travelled by bus through Ciudad Real.
Yalcin was employed as the head of works for Profield in Gibraltar. The two Chechens had stayed with him and at first there were media stories that they had intended to bomb a commercial centre in Gibraltar, which was later changed to the Punta Europa shopping centre in Algeciras. The bombing was said to be timed for the opening of the London Olympics and involved dropping an explosive device from a motorised para-glider.
Amidst much fanfare, Yalcin’s home was raided by the National Police and it was announced that traces of explosives had been found in his garage. The trio were alleged to be members of an Islamic fundamentalist cell and were jailed.
However, neither Yalcin nor the other two were ever brought to trial for these offences. On the 10th April 2013 they were all freed as there was no proof against them. The explosives seemingly never existed. The Chechens were deported. Yalcin, although a Turkish national, still lives openly at his La Línea home. So had three innocent men spent nine months in jail?
We may be closer to finding out as a “Querella Criminal” has been lodged with the courts by the Madrid based lawyer, Cesar Mateo-Sagasta Llopis on Yalcin’s behalf against the National Police and the British Embassy.
The “Querella Criminal”, which I have seen, is for offences relating to: simulation of a crime, falsifying documents, false testimony, torture, illegal detention and kidnapping against seven officers of the Comisaría General de Información – Unidad Central. Three of those officers, plus another two, are accused of kidnapping in a foreign territory (Gibraltar). And the final claim is against a member of the British Embassy in Madrid: I will return to this latter claim at a later date. The police officers are identified by their official numbers; the British Embassy staffer is unnamed.
The “Querella Criminal” points out that the National Police and the Ministry of the Interior had alleged that Yalcin and the other two were arrested on the basis of information from the British BSS and SIS, the USA’s CIA and the French CDRI. It is claimed they passed the mobile numbers and email addresses of the three to the Spanish authorities even though they had committed no crimes in Spain or any other country.
The “Querella Criminal” goes on to question why in the case against Yalcin and the other two is there not one word in English from the BSS, SIS or the CIA in the files about or against them.
The “Querella Criminal” states: “Apparently the American CIA and British services BSS and SIS leave no written record, nothing of what they do…We have to believe that they were involved, but there is no record of anything. We have to apply the Christian religious faith that what the Spanish police say is the truth, not based on any document. Regardless, the SIS and the CIA does not need the police of any country to kidnap anyone, as history has shown us.”
Of course cases have been dropped in the UK courts when the secret services have not wanted to give evidence that might compromise their sources. It might be the case that having tipped off the Spanish Police, the spooks thought they would find sufficient evidence to make a conviction stick, but not being able to they decided to stay in the shadows. Is that the case here? Or is it as Yalcin lays out in his lengthy “Querella Criminal”: he an innocent man who has been wrongly imprisoned?
It has always been reported that Yalcin was arrested by the Spanish police in La Línea. However, a key part of his Querella Criminal states that is not the case. Instead. Yalcin claims he was kidnapped in Gibraltar and taken across the border.
His lawyer Cesar Mateo-Sagasta Llopis states in the Querella Criminal: “Cengiz Yalcin was on the 1st of August 2012 head of works of the company Profield, which was making large scale works in Gibraltar.”
He continues: “One of the multiple functions of Don Cengiz, was to go to the border where entered 100 per cent of the material used in the building works (concrete, cement, bricks…)”
“And thus we see that in the volume 1º Folio 42 of the summary 90/12, the Central Court of Instruction nº 5-Commissioner General of information, communicates by fax the arrest of Don Cengiz (NIE X6819387W), requesting that he be detained incommunicado.”
“We already know that he was abducted inside Gibraltar, where he lived and worked on the 1st of August 2012, [in front of] two witnesses and the recordings of the cameras at the frontier of Gibraltar on the Gibraltar side of the border.”
“My client was on a company motorcycle, which goes from work site to work site. On that bike he carried a series of documents:
1 – the company’s tax documents that stated the amount of money he was carrying that had to be paid, this money was not his but the company’s.
2 – documents [belonging to] his brother Ibrahim, who does not resemble my client, which had to be presented for the legalisation of the same, and he was not carrying them to impersonate him [but] for other reasons, as they are so unalike.
3 – His passport, for official transactions with Customs (the passport has disappeared and does not appear anywhere).”
All this, says Cesar Mateo-Sagasta, goes to show that the legal document presented by the National Police which states that Don Cengiz was stopped in La Línea for “belonging to a terrorist organization” is false. The lawyer states that it is untrue his client was arrested in La Línea because he was kidnapped whilst inside Gibraltar.
Cesar Mateo-Sagasta closes this section of the Querella Criminal by asking that the Comisaría General de Información del Cuerpo Nacional de Policía make available to the court video recordings that support the police claims regarding where Cengiz Yalcin was detained. The lawyer says the recordings must show where his client was detained, under what conditions, and at what time in order to demonstrate the reasons why he should be kept incommunicado.
So one question that needs to be answered is this: was Yalcin kidnapped in Gibraltar as he claims or arrested in La Línea as reported and documented by the Spanish authorities?
Is he innocent? I know not. However two points strike me. The first is that it is clear the Spanish authorities had no grounds for detaining him leading to nine months imprisonment.
The second is if he is guilty of the offences as originally claimed, I find it odd that now freed he should put himself back in court by taking on the National Police and the British Embassy as well as by the various secret services in the UK, France and the USA. Hardly the actions of a guilty man.
The truth may eventually come out in court: but then, of course, it may not.