Arrest Made in Paris Murder of Kurdish Activists

Posted January 21st, 2013 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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French prosecutors have filed preliminary murder and terrorism charges against an associate of three female Kurdish activists shot dead in Paris earlier this month.

The suspect, a 30-year-old Turkish driver for one of the slain women, was one of two ethnic Kurds detained last week in connection with the January 10 killings.

Prosecutors filed charges against the driver during a court hearing Monday in Paris. The other suspect detained last week has since been freed without charge.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said the suspect has denied the charges against him.

“He is of Turkish nationality. He doesn't have any criminal record and says he has been a member of the PKK for the last two years. Other aspects of his persona are being looked into, and you will understand that I cannot comment in more detail today.”

The PKK, or the Kurdistan Workers Party, is an outlawed group that took up arms for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

The three women, Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez, were found shot to death at the Kurdish Information Center in Paris. Cansiz was a founding member of the PKK.

Turkey has suggested that the killings are linked to ongoing negotiations between the Turkish government and jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, while Kurdish activists say that it might be the work of Turkish extremists.