Wednesday, October 20, 2010

UPDATE: Danish court lift ban on RojTV accounts

19 October 2010

RojTV accounts released from block

A Danish court in Copenhagen upheld the objection by the Kurdish satellite TV and lifted the freezing on the TV station ban accounts which had been requested by the Danish prosecutor office.

There is no legal reasoning in order to freeze the bank accounts pronounced the chief judge.

The court also stated that Roj TV broadcastings are within the legal framework and it has no connections with terrorism. It is also underlined in the decision that Roj TV is a channel run with the donations from the viewers.

Although the public prosecutor requested the court to continue the freezing on the accounts the lawyers of Roj TV challenged the request on account of the fact that the channel will not be able to continue its broadcasting under these circumstances which will amount a de facto ban. The Court upheld the objection from Roj TV. It is reported that the reasoning for the decision will be issued by the court in 14 days.

Meanwhile, a group of Roj TV viewers also gathered in front of the court building in order to show their solidarity with the channel. 

The accounts were frozen on 30 August

The bank accounts were frozen on the 30th August upon a request from the public prosecutor office. While Roj TV objected the decision next day, a case was opened against the channel on the same day which was a result of the investigation has been continuing since 2005. The public prosecutor has also demanded the seizure of Roj TV.

Danish prosecutor Lise-Lotte Nilas presented the incitement to the Copenhagen court of first instance on 7 October in which Roj TV has been accused of violating the Article 144 E which regulates aiding terrorist organizations. While the prosecutor showed the TV programmes as evidence it also requested the court to cancel the license granted to Roj TV. The date for the trial remains uncertain.

NATO secretary Danish Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Turkey

The day the Danish prosecutor presented the indictment against Roj TV the former Danish prime minister and the current NATO secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen paid an official visit to Turkey. It is commented that before elections for NATO secretary Turkey bargained with Denmark on banning Roj TV in order to support Denmark in return.

The testimonies of the former director Zonoozi who is accused of peculating of 500 thousand Danish crones belonged to the television were also presented as evidence against Roj TV. In June, after embezzling accusations against him were proofed Zonoozi alleged that Roj TV is financially supported by the PKK. While Roj Tv officials denied the allegations they also stated that Zonoozi was sacked in 2008 because of the money he stole from the TV and he is now trying to escape justice by disseminating false allegations.

A Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende reported on 15 August that Zonoozi has changed his name and is under the protection of the Danish Intelligence Service (PET).

On 7 October Zonoozi was brought to the court by force and the Court decided him to pay the money he peculated.