November 2, 2012 - 12:31 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A Turkish daily claimed on Friday, Nov 2, that a former Turkish president had been killed by a highly venomous poison, according to Today’s Zaman.
Citing an unpublished autopsy report prepared by the Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK), the Bugün daily said in its report that Turgut Özal, Turkey's revolutionary president, was poisoned by “strychnine creatine.”
An investigation into the suspicious death of the former president began earlier this year after a number of witnesses spoke of unusual circumstances on the day of the death of the then-president, who was reported to have suffered a heart attack. The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office recently issued a warrant to exhume the remains of the president for toxicology testing.
Özal, the eighth president of the Turkish Republic, died of heart failure in April of 1993 at an Ankara hospital at the age of 65 while serving in office.
Prosecutors decided in September that Özal's remains should be exhumed and an autopsy performed after a state supervisory board, acting on the order of President Abdullah Gül, released a report in June that voiced suspicions about the death.
The report was ordered in response to the suspicions of Özal's family and friends about his death and a subsequent investigation.
After the reburial of Özal, the ATK said it would release its report in two months.
In the leaked autopsy report, Bugün claims that the doctors who conducted the autopsy investigated Özal's bone marrow, parts of his internal organs and examples of other parts of his body. It added that the examination revealed a high level of strychnine in his body.
The report said the chemical substance was not used in embalming Özal's body. It noted that the poison was widely used against rats and it is currently banned in Turkey. It is speculated that the poison could have been mixed in with Özal's food or drink.
Strychnine is a powerful poison that leads to respiratory failure in 15-20 minutes and could also cause a heart attack.
ATK head Haluk İnce, however, released a statement on Friday saying that the report has not yet been completed and examinations still continue.