Cablegate: Belgium Freezes Pkk-Associated Roj-Tv's Assets
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHBS #0292 0531517
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221517Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7047
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0636
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
UNCLAS BRUSSELS 000292
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ETTC PTER BE TU
SUBJECT: BELGIUM FREEZES PKK-ASSOCIATED ROJ-TV'S ASSETS
REF: A. SADLIKAR-VAN HABBERNEY E-MAIL
1. (U) Ref e-mail relayed a Turkish press report that "PKK
mouthpiece" Roj TV has been levied a heavy tax fine by
Belgian authorities. The press report asserted that Roj TV
officials in Belgium "claimed that Turkey's pressure on the
U.S. and certain EU countries led to the Belgian decision to
levy the fine."
2. (SBU) Post has confirmed that the corporate tax division
of the Belgian Ministry of Finance has levied a 4.1 million
euro ($6 million) fine on Roj-TV. The fine is due before the
end of February. Since the local finance official believed
Roj-TV would be unable to pay the fine, the official ordered
Roj-TV's assets with Fortis Bank and ING Bank frozen.
3. (SBU) Another source in the Finance Ministry stated that
freezing assets in such a circumstance would be mandatory on
any finance ministry official. However, the magnitude of the
fine likely indicated the approval of higher officials within
the Belgian Ministry of the Interior or within the senior
levels of the Belgian judicial police force.
4. (SBU) COMMENT: This welcome move by the Belgian
government shows that, after sustained pressure from the U.S.
on confronting terrorism in general, Belgian authorities are
now using whatever resources and tools it has at its disposal
to restrict the operations of terrorist and
terrorist-affiliated organizations in Belgium.