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Friday, February 25, 2005

EUbusiness - Kurdish ex-lawmakers plead innocent in Turkey retrial

"Kurdish ex-lawmakers plead innocent in Turkey retrialDocument Actions 25/02/2005

Four Kurdish former lawmakers, including award-winning human rights activist Leyla Zana, pleaded innocent and asked for a fair hearing Friday in a high-profile retrial for alleged links with armed Kurdish rebels. 'I reject the accusations,' Zana told the court in Ankara in her first defence argument in the trial. 'The trial should be fair and in line with the decision of the (Turkish) appeals court and the European Court of Human Rights.' Her colleagues and co-defendants -- Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan -- also pleaded not guilty. The court set the next hearing for April 22 after the defence team asked for more time to present their view on how the retrial should be conducted in light of recent legal amendments aimed at drawing Turkey closer to the European Union. "

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