4th September, 2023

Well, we didn’t call you and “Hani of Panjiaros” by Aristos Michaelides

The Minister of Justice and the Government Spokesman were surprised yesterday on television because, they said, some people were demanding that they intervene in the justice system in the case of the Kurdish militant Kenan Ayas. Alas, they said, if we interfered with the judiciary! Woe betide a minister calling the judges and telling them what to decide!

Indeed, it is we who are surprised at what they say. For, they are trying to present a political issue, like the political arguments of those who criticise the prosecution of Ayas, as a matter of institutions and powers. No one expected them to interfere with the judges. But, before the case reached the judges it is the police who arrested Ayias, not the judges. And in the courts it is the prosecution that came forward to support the prosecution of Germany. The prosecution represented the government when arguing to convince the judges that Ayas is indeed a terrorist and should be extradited to Germany.

In other words, the Government sent him to court, supported Germany’s claim and arguments, and now the Governors are playing the innocent dove and blaming it all on the judges and the independence of our judiciary. But, by God, where in the world do we interfere with the work of the judiciary!!! They sound so innocent, such pure protectors of institutions. But you have already intervened, through the police and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, when you presented the case to the courts, ladies and gentlemen.

Even the “accusations”, which came from Germany and were supported by the Cypriot government, reveal the injustice against this man. Because the Minister of Justice was talking on television about criminal offences against him, while in the court’s decision what is mentioned is that the PKK is a ‘terrorist-oriented group’, but not according to the Cypriot state, but according to the German state. The court refers to the description of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “as it is treated in Germany”, it says, and describes the PKK’s activities, “which undoubtedly include criminal offences such as the use of weapons and explosives in attacks where persons were killed and injured”.

But where did these attacks take place? In Germany? Was there a terrorist attack by Kurds anywhere in Europe? There are attacks in Kurdistan where the Kurds are waging a liberation struggle, not terrorism. But, we accept that this is a criminal offence. There is “use of arms and explosives” when Kurds are trying to save themselves from the attacks and massacres of the terrorist state of Ankara. Because, the Kurds are not of our theory of “slaughter me my love and sanctify me”. They are resisting and fighting to save themselves. Well, let’s not call them terrorists to satisfy Germany and its ally!

Besides, some people were saying about Kenan Agias that the Germans are also looking for him for “money laundering” and they gave the impression that the man is a crook, like the ones we learned about in the last few years when Cyprus got involved in laundering. What is laundering? We found a reference to the court decision. He was, he says, an executive and influenced other executives and ‘was in regular personal contact with them and gave them instructions on the work they were to do’.

What was the project? The court says: “organizing propaganda events for the organization and meetings where Ephesian collected as many participants as possible.” Listen to this! They organized events and Kenan gathered as many people as he could. Well, here’s the proof, he’s a terrorist! Clearly. What about the laundering? It says: “As the head of the Northern Rhine, Ephesian was involved in collecting donations for the organization by overseeing the collection process.”

He was collecting donations for their liberation struggle, as others did many years ago for our liberation struggle, and we tried him for “money laundering”. Disgraceful. Again and again.

Today, the defense filed a motion on behalf of Kenan Ayas to dismiss the panel of three judges because they showed bias against Kenan Ayas.

 

The defense had no choice but to make this extraordinary request because the court showed bias against Kenan Ayas by rejecting the defense’s request. The defense had requested that the newspaper article quoting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement about Kenan Ayas’ trial be considered as evidence and read in court.

 

The well-known German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) had summarized Erdoğan’s remarks in an article published on November 19 as follows: “The visit to the German capital had ‘opened a new chapter in our deep relations,’ Erdoğan said. He expressed his delight at a criminal trial at the Hamburg Higher Regional Court against an alleged official of the Kurdish terrorist group PKK. The man was arrested in Cyprus and extradited to Germany on the initiative of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.” (See the press release of the defense from November 30, 2023).

 

The court rejected the request for the second time, arguing that Erdoğan’s statement had no relation to the case of Kenan Ayas. It was the second time that the defense had asked the court to allow this article to be part of the evidence. The defense had argued that Erdoğan’s statements showed that the extradition and trial of Kenan Ayas was in the interest of Turkey and that Kenan Ayas could be in danger after his release from prison because of the known habit of the Turkish secret service to operate outside of Turkey. In regard to both motions, the Public Prosecutor’s Office did not oppose the request but supported it by stating that there was an obvious connection between the article and the trial.

 

Despite the statement of the prosecution, the judges showed their determination not to deal with the Turkish influence on the trial. The judges have continuously tried to keep anything out of the trial that could indicate the political nature of the extradition request for Kenan Ayas and the charges against him.

 

Now another chamber of the Hamburg Higher Regional Court hast to decide on the motion to dismiss the judges. Until this decision is made, the trial will continue as scheduled.

 

 

Hamburg/Frankfurt/Nicosia, February 6, 2024

 

 

Attorney Antonia von der Behrens, Berlin

Attorney Stephan Kuhn, Frankfurt am Main

Attorney Efstathios C. Efstathiou, Nicosia, Cyprus

 

The FAZ article “Return to Turkey: Erdoğan calls Scholz the ‘other'” from November 19, 2023 can be found here:

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/rueckkehr-in-die-tuerkei-so-sieht-erdogan-seinen-besuch-in-berlin-19324031.html