03 April 2008
A European court on Thursday scrapped an EU decision to list the Turkish rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as a terror group, but a Brussels spokesman said the ruling would have no practical effect.
The PKK were placed on the list, which freezes funds, in 2002 after a string of attacks in Turkey.
The list has subsequently been updated several times which means the ruling by the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg will have no immediate effect, a European spokesman said.
The EU's second highest court ruled that the inclusion of the PKK on the proscribed list lacked "an adequate statement of reason".
The court had followed similar reasoning in 2006 when annulling the listing of the Mojahedin People's Organization of Iran.
But the name of the Iranian opposition group remains on the latest version of the EU terror list along with 46 other entities including the armed Basque separatist group ETA, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers and the Islamist group Hamas.
In line with the 2006 court ruling on the PMOI, the European Council furnished the PKK with the reasons for its inclusion on the terror list. However the court ruled Thursday that this should have been done when the group was first included in 2002.
The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
More than 37,000 people have been killed since it took up arms for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish east and southeast in 1984.
The PKK brought action for the annulment, with backing from Britain.
The register was drawn up to respect a UN Security Council resolution adopted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks which demanded that countries crack down on "terror" financing.
Those on it are subject to an asset and funding freeze.