German woman jailed for support of Turkish left group
A female German journalist was given a suspended, 20-month jail term Thursday for supporting a far-left Turkish group that is blamed for terrorist attacks, reported dpa.
Heike S, 43, had originally been accused of membership in the terrorist wing of Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi (DHKP-C), a party seeking a Marxist-Leninist state in Turkey.
The court in Dusseldorf convicted her on the lesser charge of supporting a terrorist group.
The group is accused of firebombing Turkish missions in Germany and beating up renegades and rivals.
Germany banned the group in 1998. It announced in 1999 it was giving up violence in Germany, where a substantial Turkish community lives.
Heike S was arrested on arrival at a German airport in December 2007, after evading arrest for six years.
She had been in Turkey as a correspondent for a leftist German newspaper, Junge Welt.
She told the court she joined the DHKP-C out of idealism after visiting a slum area in Istanbul. She said she helped translate pamphlets.
She admitted Monday to attending meetings of the party's governing council, but denied she was present at such meetings when death sentences were handed down against dissenters.
Prosecutors said a core group of the party's Germany-based leaders had formed the terrorist wing in 1995 to coordinate a series of bombings. The attacks killed several people in Turkey.
The DHKP-C has been accused of using suicide bombers to achieve its declared goal of replacing the Turkish government with a Marxist- Leninist administration.