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Occupation regime frees G/C Euro MP
2006-01-02 13:40:40

Nicosia, Jan 2 (CNA) -- The illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus released this afternoon European Parliament member Marios Matsakis, a Greek Cypriot who was illegally arrested on December 31st, 2005, accused of entering a Turkish military area and lowering a Turkish flag from an unmanned dividing line Turkish military post at Louroujina area, south of capital Nicosia, on November 1, 2005.

Matsakis, who appeared today before a military and a civilian court in the pseudostate said they had not maltreated him. He noted though that the hygiene conditions in jail were poor but he was well in his health.

In statements to the press after being freed, the Cypriot MEP said that he had to sign a bailbond as a guarantee that he would appear to the civilian court on January 5th.

He added that he signed the paper in order to be set free, but could not understand what was written since the paper was in Turkish.

Cypriot MEP appeared before a so called military court that accepted his parliamentary immunity and decided to freeze the case until 2009, when the next EP elections will take place and his immunity is lifted.

Earlier the “public prosecutor” said that the “state” could not accept Matsakis immunity since the acquis communautaire is suspended in the northern part of Cyprus and the pseudostate has not signed any agreement with the EU regarding the MEPs' immunity.

The regime’s “judge” on the other hand said that the EU is not a state and thus no such agreement with the pseudostate could be signed. Provided that no ''law'' exists that prohibits the recognition of parliamentary immunity, the court accepted Matsakis' immunity, regardless of his citizenship, the judge added.

Matsakis was then taken to a ''civilian court'' for the second case against him, regarding the lowering of a Turkish flag, on November 1, 2005, which he presented later to the European Parliament, before handling it to a Turkish journalist in Brussels.

During his transportation to the second court, Turkish members of the “grey wolves” organization, holding Turkish flags shouted against Matsakis and threatened him.

The civilian ''court'' decided adjourned until January 5. Matsakis was then taken to the ''police department'', where the regime forced him to sign a document, for a bailbond worth 17.850 Cyprus pounds (one pound is about 1.5 US dollars).

In both so called courts Matsakis defended himself by saying that his arrest was illegal and that he only recognizes the Republic of Cyprus.

Matsakis, together with the Polish Euro MP Genowefa Grabowska went on December 31 to Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia with an aim to cross over to the occupied areas in order to carry sweets to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, on the occasion of the New Year’s Day.

An officer of the so-called police told Matsakis that he was ''under arrest''.

The Cyprus government protested to the United Nations, urging them to make the necessary representations to the occupation regime to immediately release the Cypriot Euro MP.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

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