German held in Turkey faces second case

27th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 June 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Amid full-scale diplomatic negotiations, German prosecutors opened an inquiry of their own Wednesday against Marco W, a 17-year-old youth facing child-sex charges in Turkey. Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, warned in a news interview that the remand-jail conditions for Marco, who has been held for 10 weeks, were damaging Turkey's image. "I can't accept that a young German is being held in outrageous conditions in a Turkish jail," he told the weekly newspaper R

27 June 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Amid full-scale diplomatic negotiations, German prosecutors opened an inquiry of their own Wednesday against Marco W, a 17-year-old youth facing child-sex charges in Turkey.

Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, warned in a news interview that the remand-jail conditions for Marco, who has been held for 10 weeks, were damaging Turkey's image.

"I can't accept that a young German is being held in outrageous conditions in a Turkish jail," he told the weekly newspaper Rheinischer Merkur, which released the quote to other media.

Turkish and German newspapers printed intimate details from legal testimony by Marco and his 13-year-old former British girlfriend, Charlotte M, about time together in a hotel room while holidaying in Antalya in April.

Both she and Marco concurred that she did not lose her virginity. She said she had wanted to sleep. He admitted a vain attempt at sexual intercourse, according to the extracts in the German newspaper Bild.

Bild said this meant there had been no rape and only a lesser charge could apply. Marco has said that the girl told him she was 15 and was so tall that he believed her.

A Bild editorialist wrote, "He's the first boy to go to jail for not understanding women. When they say yes, they mean no. And when they say no, they mean yes."

The British and Turkish foreign ministries discussed the case this week amid a media outcry in Germany over conditions in the jail, where Marco was sharing a cell with 30 other non-Turkish remand prisoners.

German lawyers had suggested Tuesday that a parallel prosecution be commenced in Germany so as to give Turkish justice authorities the option of transferring the trial to Marco's home country and allowing him bail.

Manfred Warnecke, a prosecutor in Lueneburg, a northern German city close to Marco's hometown of Uelzen, said, "Prompted by news reports, we have begun an inquiry." But it remained inactive since no evidence had been received.

"We're now going to see if Turkey responds," he said, saying international law allowed one country to transfer the case to another.

The enormous media attention to the case this week has included an interview in the Antalya jail by the newspaper Hurriyet with Marco. A video of that interview was shown Tuesday on German television.

Collecting has begun in Uelzen, where Marco attends school and is a civil-defence volunteer, for a fund to help him.

Christian Rumpf, a Stuttgart lawyer who specializes in Turkish law, discounted reports that Marco faced eight years in jail, saying it was much more likely he would be simply fined at the July 6 trial.

Professor Rumpf said it was "naturally" harsh to hold someone in remand for 10 weeks.

"But Turkish justice is not brutal, nor is it disproportionate in comparison with Italian, French or German justice in similar cases," he said. Judges had to ensure that an accused did not skip the country.

DPA

Subject: German news

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