Roj TV fined, loses broadcast rights
The Eastern High Court (Østre Landsret) today fined the companies behind the Kurdish TV station Roj TV and stripped them of their right to broadcast after deciding that the TV station did indeed receive support from the Kurdish separatist organisation, the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).
Roj TV A/S and Mesopotamia Broadkast, the two companies that own Roj TV, were each fined five million kroner for promoting terrorism in the years between 2007 and 2010.
“Two companies were accused of promoting terrorism via TV-channel broadcasts,” the High Court verdict read. “The court found that PKK was a terror organisation that the accused companies had promoted through their broadcasts.”
Roj TV has denied any guilt in the case and one of its lawyers, Bjørn Elmquist, pointed to the fact that the case took eight years to process as proof that t it had become a political case rather than judicial.
The case began in 2005 when the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen reported Roj TV to the police for breaching terror laws, but it was not until five years later in 2010 that the state prosecutor charged the channel.
In January 2012, Roj TV was judged to have promoted terrorism after the Copenhagen City Court found it guilty in helping to finance PKK, which is on EU, US, Canada and Australian terror organisation lists.
The channel was fined 5.2 million kroner, but the companies behind the channel were able to continue to broadcast its signal, which caters to Kurds, particularly those in Turkey.
The decision, in turn, prompted the prosecution authorities to take the case to the high courts in order to stop the channel from broadcasting out of Denmark.
Then, last September, the police arrested eight people who were suspected of financing the PKK. The court said that between February 2008 and September 2010, the TV channel had supported terrorism by broadcasting PKK messages and that it had accepted money from the terrorist group.
The case almost had dire consequences for the former prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Venstre), after his candidacy for secretary general of NATO in 2009 was almost blocked in protest by Turkey in response to Denmark's handling of Roj TV.