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Cablegate: Leyla Zana, Co-Defendants Boycott Trial

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

161045Z Mar 04

UNCLAS ANKARA 001559

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SE


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL TU
SUBJECT: LEYLA ZANA, CO-DEFENDANTS BOYCOTT TRIAL


REF: ANKARA 1155 AND PREVIOUS


1. (U) Leyla Zana and three other Kurdish former MPs declined
to attend the March 12 hearing of their retrial, a protest
against reported comments by Justice Minister Cicek accusing
them of "insulting" the court. Lead defense attorney Yusuf
Alatas said the defendants will not attend any more hearings.
He said they were offended by a March 4 article in the daily
Hurriyet in which Cicek is quoted as telling European
Parliament President Pat Cox that the defendants have not
been released pending the outcome of the retrial because they
continue to insult the court during the hearings. The court
March 12 refused, for the 12th consecutive time, a defense
request that the defendants be released for the duration of
the retrial.


2. (U) The defendants -- Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan
Dogan, and Selim Sadak -- are former members of the
pro-Kurdish independence Democracy Party. They were
convicted in a controversial 1994 trial of membership in an
illegal organization (the PKK). Their retrial, which began
March 2003, is the first retrial under recent reform
legislation allowing convicts who win their appeal to the
ECHR to receive a new trial in a Turkish court.
EDELMAN

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