Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Roj TV letter Trial Waites for Danish Answer

Roj TV Letter Trial Waits for Danish Answer
A trial concerning the letter that 56 mayors sent to Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen will continue after response from Denmark.
bıa news centre
Erol Önderoglu
On 30 December 2005, 56 mayors had sent Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen a letter in which they asked for the Kurdish Roj TV channel to remain open. 54 of the mayors were of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) and two of the Social Democratic People's Party (SHP).
Prison sentences demandedThe mayors are now on trial for "knowingly and willingly helping a terrorist organisation", or more precisely, for "helping the organisation by preventing the taking away of a visual propaganda medium of the terrorist organisation". The prosecution is asking for sentences of between 7.5 and 15 years for 53 mayors. Three mayors have been acquitted.The defendants are being tried under Articles 314/3 and 220/7 of the Turkish Penal Code.
Indictment: Roj TV threatens Turkey
The investigation into the letter was initiated by the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on 2 January 2006. In the indictment which was prepared after a six-month investigation, it is said that Roj TV spreads "propaganda of the organisation".
The indictment also says, "Although the letter expressed a legal and democratic right, it ignored the fact that the organisational views of Roj TV contain broadcasts which threaten Turkey."
Denmark's answer needed
The court case was continued yesterday (11 September) at the Diyarbakir 5th Heavy Penal Court. In the short hearing, it was decided to ask for the original answer of the Danish Media Secretariate concerning the status of Roj TV. The court decided to write to the Ministry of Justice to ask for Denmark's answer. The hearing was postponed until 20 November.
The defendants were represented by their lawyers Muharrem Erbas and Sezgin Tanrikulu at the hearing. The lawyers argued that the hearing was more like a trial of Roj TV than of the defendants. (EÖ/AG)


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