Saturday, December 22, 2007

Soft-Pedaling the Murder of Fuat Deniz

Ten days ago Fuat Deniz, a professor of sociology at the University of Örebro, was stabbed in the neck and murdered. Dr. Deniz was an Assyrian Christian, and had previously investigated the Ottoman genocide of the Assyrians.

After he was murdered it was revealed that he and some of his colleagues had received threats from Turkish sources because of their public statements about the genocide. Since then, despite the possibility that the murder of Fuat Deniz was a political act, the Swedish authorities have been unable to come up with any significant leads in the case.

Most of the news that has emerged in the aftermath of Dr. Deniz’ murder is in Swedish. Gates of Vienna is fortunate to have several contacts who read Swedish; our Danish correspondent Kepiblanc volunteered for the latest tasks. He has taken a look at an article from Thursday’s Nerikes Allehanda and provides this summary:

This is not about the intimidation of actual witnesses, only potential ones. The Örebro Police talk — in general terms — about why some witnesses refuse to come forward, such as fear of being identified , thinking their information is unimportant, etc. The police promise anonymity.

They have lots of witnesses, but nothing substantial. Then the article says that a surveillance camera recorded a bloodstained man entering a food store about forty-five minutes after the killing. The movie is not sharp and has been sent to experts in an attempt to enhance the recording. No results so far…

Kepiblanc adds his own opinion:

My personal take on this is that they’ll never find the killer. He is obviously some Turkish agent, and Sweden will never risk upsetting the Turkish government — or any Turk, for that matter. If they cannot avoid finding the man, it will be hushed up.

Kepiblanc has also provided a complete translation of this article from yesterday’s Aftonbladet:
- - - - - - - - -
So far no one has been arrested for the murder of Fuat Deniz in Örebro. To the contrary, the police have made a number of mistakes, for example turning down a renowned expert who offered his assistance.

The National Bureau of Investigation acknowledges his competence, but it is clearly insufficient for the Örebro Police, writes Nuri Kino.

Fuat Deniz(Photo caption: Madness. Fuat Deniz was stabbed outside the University of Örebro by an unknown cutthroat. Today’s columnist, Nuri Kino, wonders why the Örebro Police have been allowed to make so many mistakes in their investigation. In particular he wonders why they turned down an offer for help by a specialist in interpreting blurry recordings from surveillance cameras.)

Wake up, Cops!

Nuri Kino, freelance journalist: “Fuat Deniz deserves a professional investigation”

Tuesday, December 11th university professor Fuat Deniz politely opened a door for someone. A single stab in the neck and he was dying.


I went to Örebro the day after the murder of Fuat Deniz. No one in his family had been offered protection or any help at all. His family and friends, most of them academics, accused the police of having made several mistakes. Those questioned by the police were shocked by the interrogator’s professional incompetence

At the university I tried to find out if someone was aware of any threats against Deniz. I stood at the door to his office, should I enter or shouldn’t I? His colleagues told me that the room hadn’t been sealed off; it had been cleaned, and several other persons had visited the room. I entered. The police had taken his hard drive into custody. His car keys and cigarettes were lying on the desk as well as his mail. Three of his colleagues had not even been questioned. One of them, a researcher in the same field as Deniz, was also living under threats. He had called the police and asked for a meeting. Following that, he was shocked by the police’s ignorance of ethnic, political and religious conflicts

I went to Deniz’ house. His wife showed me into his study. The police had confiscated his hard drive here as well. I noticed a card, clearly of some interest to a detective. His wife opened a drawer containing all his calendars and appointments for the last five years. At the same time we heard the radio talking about how the “police are doing everything possible to establish an exact picture of Fuat Deniz”. The door bell rang. His wife became nervous. The police hadn’t offered her any protection. The guest was yet another friend returning from a police interrogation, feeling betrayed. The radio and the police spoke about some photos of a blood-stained man entering a store the same day Deniz was killed, but the pictures were useless.

When reading my mail I noticed that an expert in biometrical recognition had mailed the police and offered his help. I had received a carbon-copy. The expert opined that the police shouldn’t discard the photos until he had seen them. He is one the world’s leading experts in analyzing such pictures. In the evening the police still hadn’t contacted him. That was after forty-eight hours. I called the specialist. He felt like he was being ignored and humiliated. The National Bureau of Investigation had used his expertise, but not the Örebro Police.

Rumors about the killer of Fuat Deniz are spreading like wildfire all over the world. Many human rights activists and researchers of Middle-Eastern heritage are shocked and scared: “I have not left my home since that day”, and “my brothers have moved in here” says a well known author and historian.

Many of us hope that this is an act of insanity; anything else is unbearable. Deniz once wrote: “democracy is not a condition, it is action”. The Örebro Police must act. On December 20th I was informed that the Örebro Police had asked the National Bureau of Investigation for help. I called the police. The police press officer was on vacation and some woman said the prosecutor in charge of the investigation wasn’t available either. He had reported in sick and they had no one to replace him. She said that the Örebro Police had to cut spending during holidays. I ask her how things are going, if they are making some progress. The answer: “We haven’t got a Colombo or some such snooping around, but we have competent personnel.”

I asked her if they had sealed off his office, but she didn’t know, but she thinks so. Neither did she know why they requested the National Bureau of Investigation. “We consider ourselves sufficiently competent. We do not need them yet, that’s why they will not join us until first thing in the new year. They are too busy right now.” At the National Bureau of Investigation the message is: “The special agents are on Christmas leave and will not be available until January 2nd. They are on vacation and they deserve it since they’re so seldom at home”.

Yes, they deserve it, but Fuat Deniz’ family, his friends, colleagues, and everyone else in search of the truth deserve a professional investigation. Someone, I don’t care who, but someone must see to it that the Örebro Police get the much-needed help ASAP, regardless of holidays.


Hat tips: Steen.

Previous posts on this topic can be found here, here, here, and here.

4 comments:

Paul Green said...

What an absolute outrage. Through their in competence and inaction, the Swedish authorities are inflicting upon their nation's history a hideous and shameful blot.

It bears reiteration that in striking at Fuat Deniz’s neck, his killer was attacking in a manner directly mandated by Islam’s prophet Muhammad in two Qur’anic verses:

Sura 8, Verse 12Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: Smite ye above their necks ...”

Sura 47, Verse 4Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), Smite at their necks ...

Walk heavy and watch your six.

Paul Green said...

And speaking of incompetence and inaction, a search of Fuat Deniz's name at the following mainstream media outlets reveals not so much as a word of coverage:

The Associated Press
Reuters
The BBC
The New York Times
The International Herald Tribune
The Washington Post
The Los Angeles Times
The Times of London
The Telegraph (UK)
The Guardian (UK)

Vasarahammer said...

For me it is not a surprise that Swedish police have not managed to solve the murder of Fuat Deniz. I don't think they will solve it, but it would be very disappointing if they did not even want to solve the murder.

Paul Green said...

Too busy with holiday feasting and guzzling, it seems.

For what it's worth, I'm going to remonstrate with the Swedish embassy over this. The ambassador is Jonas Hafström and their e-mail is:

ambassaden.washington@foreign.ministry.se

A staff directory is at:

http://www.swedenabroad.se/Page____7037.aspx

A list of Swedish consulates in the U.S. is at:

http://www.swedenabroad.se/Consulates____7492.aspx