German court sentences five to prison for PKK membership

A German court sentenced five defendants up to four years and three months in prison on April 30 for being members of the PKK terror organization.

The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart said Veysel S. was sentenced to four years and three months, Agit K. to four years, Ozkan T. received three years, Evrim A. and Cihan A. to one-and-a-half years for being members of the terror group that is involved in kidnapping and abducting.

According to the conviction of the Higher Regional Court, the four men and one woman who were also accused had abducted, abused and threatened with death a former PKK member or supporter in the Stuttgart area in April 2018 for a missing amount of several thousand euros from a donation collection in the Bruchsal area to collect.

The criminal court sentenced the 39-year-old main defendant to a total of four years and three months imprisonment for his PKK membership and for dangerous bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, attempted coercion and attempted extortion. The four supporters, aged between 28 and 39, received sentences ranging from one and a half years on probation to four years in prison.

According to the court, the victim was lured into a trap by the accused woman, his ex-girlfriend, and kidnapped by two men in a restaurant in the Göppingen district. There he was questioned and beaten for several hours before he was released. The Turkish main defendant is also said to have headed several PKK regions in Germany as a full-time cadre since 2014, including the Stuttgart and Baden-Württemberg area (Az .: 3 – 2 StE 12/18).

The verdict was preceded by a marathon process with a total of 91 days of negotiations. The judgment is not final. The defendants and the Federal Public Prosecutor General can appeal to the Federal Court of Justice.

The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993 and is considered a terrorist organization in the European Union.

The court said the PKK, “which has repeatedly harmed civilians in southeastern Turkey, is carrying out attacks on Turkish police officers and soldiers. The PKK aims to commit murder through attacks in Turkey.”

“The PKK also has organizational structures in Germany and other Western European countries. It aims to raise funds for the organization, recruiting supporters for the PKK, and planning campaigns to influence public opinion,” it said.

The decision is open to appeal, it added.

Turkey has repeatedly urged German authorities to take action against the PKK, which has been outlawed in Germany since 1993. Germany’s Verfassungsschutz has been actively researching and battling PKK extremism since the 90’s.

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