Swedish court blocks Turkish extradition request

Swedish court blocks Turkish extradition request

Ankara demanded the distribution of a journalist as a condition for ratifying Stockholm’s NATO membership

Sweden’s Supreme Court has blocked the extradition of former Zaman Daily editor-in-chief Bulent Kenes, whom Turkey has accused of being involved in an attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

His extradition was a key demand from Ankara to ratify Stockholm’s accession to NATO.

The court ruled on Monday that there were “several obstacles” to returning the man. Although the statement did not name the journalist, he later expressed gratitude to the Swedish justice system on Twitter.

Judge Petter Asp explained that some of the charges against the man were not crimes in Sweden and stated that the political nature of the case and his status as a refugee in Sweden made it impossible to extradite him.

“There is also a risk of persecution based on this person’s political beliefs. So an extradition cannot take place,” the judge said.

Sweden’s and Finland’s applications to join NATO require unanimous approval by the bloc’s members. However, Ankara opposes the move unless Stockholm and Helsinki condemn organizations they consider to be terrorists and extradite their members to face trial in Turkey.

Earlier, Erdogan singled out Kenes as one of the members of a movement led by US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is considered a terrorist by Ankara. The group has been accused of trying to organize a military coup in the country back in 2016. Both Kenes and Gulen have denied the allegations.

Source: sn.dk




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