OPINION

A political trial?

From a purely political standpoint, it is clear that the trial of Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan should never be held; it would be against our national interests. All countries have some skeletons that should stay in their cupboards. The decision to indefinitely postpone the trial is the best one that could have been made under current circumstances, even though the reasoning behind the ruling – that the defendant is «of no fixed abode» – only highlights the ridiculousness of legal formalities. At least a decision was made. The «response» of Prime Minister Costas Simitis to press speculation over the affair – «trials of political and social significance should proceed normally so that ample light is shed on the affair and so crimes do not become statute-barred» – was senseless and far from advisable. It is not the job of any prime minister to criticize judicial decisions and procedural activities, however indirectly this is done. In the current climate, Simitis’s reference to «trials of political and social significance» could easily be seen as a reference to the forthcoming trial of alleged November 17 operatives – which defendants are keen to expose as a «political trial» but which the government insists is a trial of violations against criminal law, seeking to avoid the creation of a public «forum» setting politics against