The Armenian Genocide Malta Trials that never happened.
by niamhfoster | April 22nd, 2012
There is a fascinating article by The Malta Independent online about the Malta Trials that never took place. The article talks to Judge Giovanni Bonello about the Ottomans who were accused of war crimes and were taken by the British troops from the fallen Ottoman Empire to Malta. They were taken to be tried for massacres of the Armenians and cruelty to Allied prisoners of war.
Dr Bonello talks about the Malta Trials in response to a claim made by Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister. The Turkish Minister Egemen Bagis claimed that Turkey was “acquitted of the responsibility of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 because no such trial ever took place in Malta.” Bonello argues in response that Turkey was not acquitted of the responsibility because the Malta Trials of over 100 Ottoman officials never took place. Instead, Bonello argues that the Malta Trials never took place due to many different reasons, not because they were innocent. The main reason that the Malta Trials did not take place in trying the the war crimes was because there was not enough evidence to condemn the guilty. Moreover, Ataturk was holding 22 British soldiers prisoners. The British cabinet decided that if they could not gain justice for the war crimes instead, they would exchange all the Ottoman officials for the British prisoners. The exchange occurred on the Black Sea on 31st October 1921.
Lord Curzon was deeply embarrassed by the whole incident but he explained that he had to ‘skate over thin ice’ as quickly as he could when dealing with the problem. Bonello concludes the newspaper article by saying that almost 100 years after the genocide, there is little hope for a solution of the controversial issue that is the Armenian Genocide.
To read the whole article: http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=143007