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DATE=12/30/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=TURKEY / OCALAN (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-257623 BYLINE=AMBERIN ZAMAN DATELINE=ANKARA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Turkey's chief prosecutor, Vural Savas, has rejected demands for a retrial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. Ocalan was sentenced to death in June. Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara. TEXT: Ocalan's lawyers say their domestic legal avenues are now exhausted. So they say they now will apply to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights to intervene on behalf of Ocalan, the leader of an outlawed rebel group known as the P-K-K. Ocalan was sentenced to death after being convicted on treason charges last June at the end of a one-month trial on the prison island where he is being held. Lawyers for the P-K-K leader say the trial was riddled with irregularities and they are demanding a new trial. Experts say the European court could take up to two years to come up with its decision. They say the court also could renew demands that Ocalan not be executed. Although there are about 40 Turkish prisoners on death row, no one has been executed in Turkey since 1984 -- in line with efforts to bring the country's laws closer to standards of West European nations. Both Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Justice Mnister Hikmet Sami Turk have repeatedly indicated that Ocalan cannot be executed if Turkey wants to become a full member of the European Union. Under Turkish law, it is up to parliament to decide the P-K-K leader's fate. Until recently, there was strong public pressure on the politicians to vote in favor of hanging the man Turkey blames for the deaths of nearly 40-thousand of its citizens. Analysts say Ocalan's demands that his P-K-K fighters abandon their bloody independence struggle and withdraw from Turkish territory have greatly reduced the Turkish public's thirst for revenge. Prime Minister Ecevit says Turkey will need to await the European Court's verdict before its proceeds any further with the Ocalan case. NEB/AZ/JWH/JO 30-Dec-1999 10:07 AM EDT (30-Dec-1999 1507 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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