Tuesday, 20 November 2012

News Release: Company Drops Complaint Against Right Livehood Laureate

Hayrettin Karaca

All charges of illegal trespass against 90-year-old Turkish environmentalist Hayrettin Karaca were formally withdrawn by mining company Koza Altin Madencilik A.S. at the hearing at the Criminal Court in Western Dikili today.

Mrs. Agneta Johansson, board member of the Right Livelihood Award, who was in Dikili to observe the trial, noted however that the mining company continues to press charges against the other defendants. These include environmental lawyer Hasan Namak and an activist from Mr. Karaca’s TEMA Foundation. Court proceedings against the co-accused continue in February 2013.

“The mining company withdrew the charges saying that Mr. Karaca was not local and did not know where he was during the alleged trespass. Mr. Karaca contested this and said that he led the other two co-defendants into the area that he considers to be public land. Nevertheless, I am glad that the charges have been withdrawn and that Mr. Karaca has been fully acquitted,” said Mrs. Johansson.

Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, said: “We fully welcome the withdrawal of this frivolous complaint against Mr. Karaca, and contend that this is a clear indication that the complaint was only intended to harass him and his colleagues within the Turkish environmental movement. Now it is only logical for the complaint against Mr. Karaca’s co-defendants to also be withdrawn immediately.”

Sharan Srinivas
Programme And Research Manager
Right Livelihood Award Foundation

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