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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 11:31 GMT
Turk guilty over genocide remarks
Dogu Perincek
Dogu Perincek's case has strained Swiss-Turkish relations
A Swiss court has convicted a Turkish politician of racial discrimination for denying that mass killings of Armenians in Turkey in 1915 amounted to genocide.

Nationalist leader Dogu Perincek, 65, was on trial for remarks he made in a public speech in Lausanne in 2005.

He was given a suspended sentence and fined $2,450 (£1,270).

The Swiss parliament, along with more than a dozen countries, has labelled the killings as genocide. Turkey firmly rejects the genocide allegation.

Perincek, the head of the Turkish Workers' Party, had denied the charges.

"I have not denied genocide because there was no genocide," he told the court earlier this week.

Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were killed in a genocide by Ottoman Turks during World War I, either through systematic massacres or through starvation.

More than a dozen countries, various international bodies and many Western historians agree that it was genocide.

Turkey says there was no genocide. It acknowledges that many Armenians died, but says the figure was below one million.

A law criminalising the denial of genocide was adopted in 2003 by the parliament in the Swiss canton of Vaud, where Perincek made his remarks.

Twelve Turks prosecuted in Switzerland on similar charges in 2001 were acquitted.




SEE ALSO
Swiss 'genocide' trial for Turk
06 Mar 07 |  Europe
Q&A: Armenian 'genocide'
12 Oct 06 |  Europe
Turkey's Armenian dilemma
27 Feb 07 |  Europe
Banning the freedom to deny
07 Feb 07 |  Europe

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