Rights Court Urges Fair Ocalan Trial

AMSTERDAM (Reuters)–The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has called on Turkey to give Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan a fair trial and grant defense lawyers full access to their client–an Ocalan lawyer said on Thursday.

Britta Boehler–the Dutch-based lawyer that heads Ocalan’s international defense team–told Reuters the ruling came through to her Amsterdam office on Thursday evening. She expected the court to make an official announcement on Friday.

Boehler and her fellow defense lawyers petitioned the European Court last month to intervene in Ocalan’s case.

The defense team complained that Ocalan’s detention by Turkey violated the European convention on human rights. He was seized lasts month in Kenya–where he had been holed up at the Greek embassy–and flown to Turkey to face trial for treason.

"Not only has the European Court said Turkey must guarantee a fair trial–it has also said that Ocalan’s lawyers–including his foreign lawyers–must be allowed unfettered access," Boehler said.

She and her colleagues tried in vain to see Ocalan soon after his capture–but they were turned away by Turkish authorities at Istanbul airport

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