Thursday, April 05, 2007

Turkey's prime minister avoids prosecution for comment on Kurdish rebel chief

From the International Herald Tribune:

ANKARA, Turkey: A Turkish prosecutor ruled Thursday that the prime minister had not committed a crime by referring to jailed Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan as "esteemed Ocalan" in a radio interview seven years ago, the government-run Anatolia news agency reported.

A prosecutor investigated whether Recep Tayyip Erdogan had violated a law which bans the praising of crime and criminals when he made the remark.

Dozens of Kurdish politicians have been charged with the offense, including Ahmet Turk, the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Society Party, who received a six-month jail sentence.

But on Thursday, Ankara's Deputy Chief Prosecutor Hikmet Onen said he found no ground to prosecute Erdogan after listening to recordings of the interview with Australia's SBS Network and added that the statute of limitations would prevent him from opening a case, Anatolia reported.

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