Seven of eight arrestees in PKK case held on remand
After two days of preliminary hearings, which ran into the wee hours of early Friday morning, seven of the eight people arrested on Tuesday for allegedly funding the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) will be held on remand for 26 days, police announced. The eighth arrestee has been released.
“The court found that there is reason to suspect that seven of the accused are guilty of the charges against them,” Jakob Buch-Jensen, the senior prosecutor for the Copenhagen Police, said in a statement. “Furthermore, it was determined that the defendants should be imprisoned so that they cannot influence the investigation into the case.”
The seven to be held on remand all appealed the decision to the High Court, while the prosecution has appealed the decision to release the eighth suspect, arguing that the individual could hinder the ongoing investigation.
The eight individuals arrested on Tuesday, who range in age from 27-71, are suspected of collecting somewhere between 27-140 million kroner for the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by the US, Canada and the EU.
The arrests were made in connection with investigations into the Copenhagen-based Kurdish TV station Roj TV, which was fined 2.6 million kroner in January for violating Denmark's anti-terror laws.
Prior to the January decision against Roj TV, the station transmitted to an estimated 30 million Kurds worldwide. Although the station held on to its broadcasting incense, the decision resulted in European broadcasting service provider Eutelsat removing the station from its signal. Roj TV can still be seen in Denmark, western Europe and parts of Turkey, and can be viewed online worldwide.
The station has long been a sore spot in the the relationship between Turkey and Denmark. The Turkish government has long viewed Roj TV as the mouthpiece for PKK, and Turkey has repeatedly made formal complaints about the station. Denmark’s decision to prosecute Roj TV on terror charges was revealed by WikiLeaks as being a reward for Turkey’s support of the appointment of former Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen as Nato general secretary in 2009.