DHKP-C acquitted of terrorism charges
The court of appeal in Brussels has acquitted the left-wing organisation DHKP-C of charges of terrorism.
However, three DHKP-C members have been found guilty of being gang members. The case has been running ten years.
The case started in 1999 when the Turkish left-wing activist Fehriye Erdal was arrested together with other members of the organisation in a flat in the coastal resort of Knokke (West Flanders). The police found weapons, a bomb switch and forged passports in the flat.
In 2007, the Court of Cassation quashed earlier sentences pronounced by the courts of Bruges (West Flanders) and Ghent (East Flanders). The trial started all over again in Antwerp, but again it had to be repeated in Brussels. This was the fourth time that the trial got underway.
The Brussels judges finally ruled that DHKP-C is not a terrorist organisation. This is in stark contrast to Turkey, who put DHKP-C on the list of terrorist organisations in 2007.
Three members of DHKP-C have been found guilty of forming a gang. The best-known member of DHKP-C, Fehriye Erdal, vanished three years ago. The Belgian judicial authorities have 15 days to decide whether they want to launch an appeal and take the case to the Court of Cassation.