ROJ-TV loses case but not licence

A Kurdish television station based in Copenhagen has been found guilty of supporting terrorism but has kept hold of its broadcasting licence.

The city’s Municipal Court ruled last week that ROJ-TV has functioned as a mouthpiece for the separatist organisation PKK, which is listed as a terrorist unit by the EU and the US.

Both the companies involved in the running of the TV station have been fined DKK 2.6 million (EUR 350,000), but will still be able to broadcast as only individuals, rather than companies, can have their licences revoked under the law with which the station was charged.

The court concluded that several programmes were biased towards PKK and even called for viewers to join the organisation. Prosecutor Anders Riisager said they would now decide whether to take the case to the country’s Supreme Court in an attempt to secure a suspension of the permit.

“Two companies were accused of having furthered the cause of a terrorist organisation using broadcasts on a TV channel. The court found it proved that the PKK is a terrorist organisation and that the companies concerned, in the period from Feb. 7, 2008 to Sept. 10, 2010, through broadcasts from the television station had furthered the cause of the organisation,” the court said in its ruling.

Defence attorney Bjørn Elmquist said his clients have not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling. “The companies concerned have boards and a director, and they will now discuss the issue. My advice would be to appeal,” he said in a report by Politiken.