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German prosecutor rejects Erdogan's appeal over satire probe

AFP  |  Berlin 

Germany's chief prosecutor today rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal against the dropping of a probe into a TV comic who satirised him.

The chief public prosecutor's office in the western German city of Koblenz said in a statement that the appeal filed by Erdogan was "unfounded".

Rather it upheld an earlier decision by prosecutors to scrap the case against TV comic Jan Boehmermann over his so-called "Defamatory Poem" that satirically accuses Erdogan of bestiality and paedophilia and which unleashed a bitter row between and Turkey.

Boehmermann said the piece was a reaction to Ankara's decision to summon Germany's ambassador over another satirical song broadcast on German TV, which lampooned Erdogan in far tamer language.

The comic acknowledged the poem was intended to provoke, and would flout Germany's legal limits to free speech.

The poem did not go down well in Ankara and Erdogan had filed a criminal complaint.

In April, Chancellor Angela Merkel authorised an investigation into whether Boehmermann could be convicted under rarely-enforced 19th-century laws on lese majeste -- a decision criticised by German rights groups.

Prosecutors in the western city of Mainz announced on October 4 that they were scrapping the probe as the satire was so exaggerated it could not be taken seriously.

"There is no evidence that the accused was making a serious attack on the personal or social reputation of the Turkish president," they concluded.

German prosecutors are scheduled to rule next month on another aspect of Erdogan's complaint, which calls for a ban on all further broadcasts of the poem.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, October 14 2016. 19:07 IST