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12-04-03 Letter to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               December 4, 2003

The Honorable Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Re: Renewed request for investigation to determine the responsibility of
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the 1974 Turkish commander
of Turkey’s Cyprus invasion forces for the murder of five Americans

Dear Mr. Secretary:

On July 17, 2003 I wrote to you (copy enclosed) regarding the killing of five Americans of Greek Cypriot descent who were killed while in the illegal custody of Turkish Cypriot militia under the command of Rauf Denktash.

On September 10, 2003 Ambassador Thomas G. Weston, Special Cyprus Coordinator, responded on your behalf (copy enclosed). We thank you and Ambassador Weston for his response. However, we reject the Department’s position as set forth in his letter that the U.S. Government, in effect, is bound by a Greek and Turkish Cypriot agreement that they would treat the missing as a humanitarian issue and not seek criminal prosecutions on either side.

We find it unacceptable and astonishing that the cold-blooded killing of five Americans while they were illegally held captive is subject to an agreement the U.S. is not a party to and seek from you a reversal of this position.

We renew our request for an investigation by the U.S., as set forth in my letter of July 17, 2003, to determine the responsibility of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the 1974 Turkish commander of Turkey’s Cyprus invasion forces for the murder of five Americans. Such an investigation would not vitiate any Greek and Turkish Cypriot agreement.

Ambassador Weston states in the last sentence of his letter that “Although we believe that all five missing Americans are likely dead, we will continue to pursue any additional lead we receive on their fate.” The remains of Andreas Kassapis have been identified by retired Ambassador Robert S. Dillon who led the investigation initiated by Congress in 1994 into the deaths of the five Americans of Greek Cypriot descent. I understand that from the movement back and forth across the Green Line, that four graves have been identified as belonging to the other four Americans. We urge a further inquiry to determine the validity of this information including exhuming the graves.

 

Respectfully,

 

Gene Rossides

 

Enclosures

cc: The President
Vice President Dick Cheney
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Lee Armitage
Assistant Secretary of State A. Elizabeth Jones
Ambassador Thomas G. Weston
Ambassador Michael Klosson
Congress