Judges can continue with Dutch Tamil Tiger trial

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The panel of judges in The Hague hearing the case of five alleged Dutch Tamil Tigers will be allowed to continue. The Hague Chamber of Recusal has rejected a challenge to the judges from defence lawyer Victor Koppe.

He submitted the challenge after the judges refused to let him continue with his nearly 200-page address, begun in the morning, beyond five p.m. He complained that the trial was unfair and the judges “shamelessly ignored” his request to continue for another half-hour.

The five defendants are accused of membership of a criminal terrorist organisation. The Public Prosecutor's Office is calling for 16-year jail sentences. The five are alleged to have collected money for their cause by mean of blackmail.

The European Union regards the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organisation, whereas Victor Koppe sees them as freedom fighters comparable to the Libyans who ousted Muammar Gaddafi or the rebels being killed in Syria.

The case is being followed with great interest in Sri Lanka where it is seen as a trial of the status of the Tamil Tigers.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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