Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Public Prosecutor turns down police report on Roj-TV

Politiken , 22.02.2006

The Copenhagen Public Prosecutor has given up to decide whether charge shall be made against the controversial Kurdish TV-station Roj –TV. The material submitted about the TV-station is too thin-legged, says the Public Prosecutor.

By Steffen Boesen

The Copenhagen police is going to investigate once again the controversial TV-station Roj-TV.

This is clear after the Public Prosecutor of Copenhagen, Karsten Hjorth, has returned the case about the TV-station to the police because there is too little substance in the material about Roj-TV, which the Public Prosecutor to begin with received from the police.

"Thin-legged material"

Karsten Hjorth asks the police to make "a broader investigation of the TV-station and its programs" in order to get a general impression of Roj-TV.

The Public Prosecutor makes no secret of the fact that the material submitted by the police was far too thin-legged: "There is too little information in the material that I have received. It neither provides the basis for charging somebody nor for dropping the case. The case has not been adequately clarified" says Karsten Hjorth.

Prime Minister walked out of press conference

The Copenhagen police submitted, last year, the material to the Public Prosecutors office with a reference to the "principled character and the public interest" of the case.

Roj-TV came on everybody's lips following the episode last november when the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked out of a press conference with Prime Minister Fogh, because of the presence of a journalist from Roj-TV.

Turkey claims that the TV-station is funded by the Kurdish separatist movement PKK, which is registered on the EU list of terrorist organizations. Also the USA have put pressure on Denmark for having closed down the offices of the TV-station located in central Copenhagen.

The Dansih branch of the TV-station denies completely to be funded by PKK.

In a month's time

The Public Prosecutor has not decreed any term for when the Copenhagen police must have completed its renewed investigation. But he expects to receive once again the case within the lapse of one month.

Several prominent members of the opposition following the intermezzo with Erdogan have stood up for Roj-TV and elaborated a declaration in support of the right of freedom of expression of the TV-station.

In this declaration it is emphasized that Denmark ought not to submit to pressure neither from the USA nor from Turkey in the case of a TV-station that has a license to transmit from Denmark.

The case of the Kurdish TV-station pops up once again when Turkey has been mentioned as a possible mediator in the in the Muhamed crisis between forces in the Arab world and parts of the Western world.

Translated from Danish into English