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Court adjourns appeal of Turkish militants

Published on May 08, 2006

8 May 2006

BRUSSELS — The appeal by a group of convicted DHKP-C Turkish militants has been adjourned to 11 September 2006, the Ghent Court of Appeal ruled on Monday.

The defence lawyers for the defendants had requested more time to prepare their case. The court granted the requested extension.

The appeal hearing was due to start on Monday, just two months after the suspects were convicted by the trial court.

One lawyer said that court cases in which suspects are already being detained are given priority, but the time between the trial and appeal in this case was exceptionally short.

“It is clear that people want to closes this case as quickly as possible,” the lawyer told news agency Belga.

Seven of the 11 defendants were convicted by the trial court in Brugge on 28 February on charges of membership of a terrorist organisation.

Five of them have appealed against their con

According to the trial judge, Fehriye Erdal — who was sentenced in absentia to four years jail — and her co-accused DHKP-C defendants were not idealists but fanaticists who did not shun blind violence and were responsible for many deaths.

Prior to her conviction, Erdal slipped through the fingers of the Belgian security service and is still at large. Her escape was an international embarrassment for Belgium.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news