Turkish court denies bail to German teenager

6th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 July 2007, Ankara (dpa) - A German teenager on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old English girl was on Friday ordered to remain in custody in Turkey pending the next hearing of his trial. Marco Weiss, 17, from Uelzen in northern Germany, was arrested on April 11 after the parents of Charlotte M from Manchester complained to prosecutors that she had been molested while on holiday in the Mediterranean resort of Side. Weiss was accompanied by his parents Ralf and Martina Weiss at the Antal

6 July 2007

Ankara (dpa) - A German teenager on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old English girl was on Friday ordered to remain in custody in Turkey pending the next hearing of his trial.

Marco Weiss, 17, from Uelzen in northern Germany, was arrested on April 11 after the parents of Charlotte M from Manchester complained to prosecutors that she had been molested while on holiday in the Mediterranean resort of Side.

Weiss was accompanied by his parents Ralf and Martina Weiss at the Antalya Serious Crimes Court. The session was closed to the public because he is a minor.

The trial was adjourned to August 8, with the head judge ordered Weiss to remain in custody until then.

In Potsdam, Germany, lawyer Juergen Schmidt said Weiss was saddened and disappointed at being remanded in custody.

"Marco and his family were privately hoping he could fly straight home," said Schmidt, adding that the parties had undertaken not to disclose anything from the two-hour hearing.

"If I did, I would endanger my client," he said. Schmidt said he regarded the trial as fair, but the lengthy detention as harmful.

"He's still just a kid," said Schmidt, adding that he would use the next few weeks to try to find defence witnesses.

In interviews with both the Turkish and German press, Weiss has said he had physical contact with the girl and asserted she had consented to sex in a hotel room. But he denied they actually had intercourse. Weiss also claimed that the girl said she was 15.

The case triggered a mini-diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Germany with Turkish officials outraged at the German media's portrayal of the conditions at the prison where Weiss has been held and also at German politicians for putting pressure on the Turkish government.

"The independent judiciary will decide. I see the exaggeration of the case as political," Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said last week.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had earlier phoned his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul to press for bail.

DPA

Subject: German news

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