Netherlands grants asylum to ex-judge charged in Turkey

A former Turkish judge who says he was prosecuted for his views on the fate of Armenians and Kurds has been granted asylum in the Netherlands.

Cagatay Cetin, who is of Armenian-Kurdish descent, claimed asylum after arriving in the country in January last year.

Charges against him in Turkey include forging documents and false accusation.

The Dutch government refused to say why Cetin had been granted asylum, adding it did not comment on individual cases.

Turkey has prosecuted individuals who describe the mass killing of Armenians in the early 20th Century as genocide.

Mr Cetin says he did "insult Turkish identity" - a criminal offence according to Article 301 of the country's penal code - by saying a genocide of Armenians had happened, his lawyer in the Netherlands, Marq Wijngaarden, told BBC News Online.

Mr Wijngaarden said his client had been accused under Article 301.

"He was interrogated on this accusation by a Dutch court, at the request of the Turkish prosecutor," he added.

Mr Cetin admits he left Turkey under a false passport, his lawyer said, but insists he did not forge documents or make false accusations.

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