MEP in the dock over flag

A Cypriot member of the European Parliament was arrested on Saturday after attempting to take a New Year’s cake, a Vassilopita, and chocolates to Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. The controversial parliamentary representative, Marios Matsakis, was arrested by Turkish-Cypriot security forces due to an outstanding warrant issued against him in November after he slipped into the buffer zone that divides Cyprus and tore down a Turkish flag. The former state coroner was taken to a military court where he told authorities that his arrest was illegal, a violation of his human rights and his rights as an MEP. Matsakis said he wanted to convey to Talat his wishes for a solution to the Cyprus problem in 2006. He is scheduled to appear in court today if lawyers can prepare the necessary documents by 2 p.m. local time. Polish MEP Genowefa Graboska was with Matsakis, who was also accompanied by television crews that filmed his arrest. His removal of the the flag in November angered both Turkish-Cypriot authorities and leaders of his own ruling Democratic Party.

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