Germany: Munich court sentences 10 members of Turkish communist group to prison

The Higher Regional Court in Munich sentenced one woman and nine men to prison on Tuesday, as the so-called 'TKP/ML trial (Turkish Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist) concluded. One defendant, Muslum Elma, was sentenced to six years and six months for being the alleged ring leader of a foreign terrorist group, whilst the other nine defendants from the Turkish communist group received lesser sentences. Elma's lawyer questioned why the case had been brought saying, «Why do they have an interest in conducting such an elaborate trial, in view of everything that is happening in the world and in view of everything that is happening in Turkey in particular, not on the part of the opposition but on the part of the Turkish state.» While the TKP/ML has been banned as a terrorist group in Turkey, it has not been registered as such or outlawed in Germany or other countries, with supporters condemning the trial as politically motivated. As the verdict was announced, members of over 30 left-wing organisations protested in front of the court, carrying communist flags and banners and shouting slogans demanding the release of all ten defendants.

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