Historic terror trial underway

Eleven men stand accused of sending over 100 million kroner to Turkey between 2009 and 2011 to aid PKK and carry out acts of terror

The largest trial in Danish history involving the support of a terror organisation begins today in Copenhagen City Court, where eleven men stand accused of financially supporting the Kurdish organisation PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by the EU, the UN and the US.

The men, aged between 28 and 72, are accused of sending over 100 million kroner to Turkey between 2009 and 2011 to aid PKK and to potentially carry out acts of terror. According to the state attorney, the men attempted to send a further 37 million kroner to PKK as well.

Pled not-guilty
The eleven men have all denied guilt in the case, though some of them admitted to participating in the raising of the funds.

Bjørn Elmquist, a lawyer defending four of the accused, denied that his clients collected money to finance PKK terror acts.

“The collections have been for completely legal purposes, such as support for cultural activities and for victims of an earthquake,” Elmquist told Ritzau news service.

Defendants face prison and expulsion
If found guilty, the men risk spending ten years in prison in accordance with Denmark's terror laws. Additionally, the state attorney has asked that ten of the men be expelled from Denmark if found guilty and asked that several of the accused pay compensation.

The case came about on the basis of information that the police obtained during the investigation of the Kurdish television channel Roj TV, which was found to have promoted terrorism in 2012. An appeal to the Supreme Court failed and the station went bankrupt last month.

Around 60 days in court have been set aside for the trial and a decision is expected to be reached sometime in March 2014.