KAYSERI – Holland and Turkey have made concrete agreements to solve problems in cooperation on legal issues. From now on, there will not always be strict interpretation of national laws. Every legal case will be examined individually. That’s the outcome of a meeting between Dutch Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin and his Turkish counterpart Mehmet Ali Şahin, during the Minister’s visit to Turkey. The matter was (coincidentally) in the news this week because of a case in the city of Den Bosch, where alleged PKK members are on trial. The problem is that the accused’s Dutch lawyers want to be present at the appearance of Turkish witnesses, which Turkish law doesn’t allow. Partly because of that, several cases against alleged PKK members have been dropped. According to the new agreement every case will be examined to determine whether the hearing of witnesses is actually necessary, and if so whether the hearings can take place with a Turkish lawyer present, or whether it is necessary for a Dutch lawyer to come to Turkey. ‘These sorts of problems can be solved easily without undermining either the Dutch or the Turkish legal system’, said Hirsch Ballin at the end of his visit to Turkey. “Both countries will make an effort in this matter, because we have the same interest, which is an effective fight against crime.” The Minister couldn’t say whether the agreement would have consequences for the Den Bosch law suit. Lawyers involved in the case will investigate that now.
(written for news agency ANP)