Ocalan charged with treason

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THE IMPRISONED Kurdishleader, Abdullah Ocalan, was formally arrested yesterday on charges of treason. Turkish prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in what could become a showdown between Turkey and the West over human rights.

Mr Ocalan was brought to Turkey a week ago after being seized in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, by Turkish commandos. His rebel army, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has waged a 15-year war for Kurdish autonomy that has claimed some 37,000 lives.

Yesterday's hearing was held on the Imrali prison island, in the Sea of Marmara, where Mr Ocalan had beeninterrogated for the past week.

The proceeding was closed, and the government made no formal announcement about its outcome. It is not known when a new trial will begin. Mr Ocalan was already on trial in absentia for separatism and treason, charges which carry the death penalty. His formalarrest marks the bringing of those charges against him for a new trial. Prosecutors must decide whether to combine other pending cases against the rebel leader. (AP)