London court begins hearing extradition case of FETÖ suspects
LONDON - Anadolu Agency
A London court on Sept. 25 began hearing the extradition case of three fugitives alleged of involvement with the defeated 2016 coup in Turkey.
The case, which will decide whether former Koza Holding Director Hamdi Akın İpek and two other defendants – Talip Büyük, the alleged Iraq “imam” of FETÖ and Bank Asya Director Ali Çelik – are extradited to Turkey, opened in the afternoon at the Westminster Magistrates Court.
In the opening hearings, lawyers for İpek, Büyük, and Çelik made extensive use of materials gathered from conventional and social media.
İpek was detained on May 23 due to a case opened by the British Home Office on Turkey’s request for his extradition with charges related to the 2016 coup.
A British court confiscated İpek’s passport and banned him from leaving London but released him on £50,000 ($66,000) bail, asking him to keep his cellphone turned on all hours every day.
Bailing defendants in extradition cases is a common procedure in the U.K.
İpek and the other defendants are due to appear again at the same court Sept. 26 morning. The case is expected to continue for a few days.
If he is extradited, İpek, accused of attempting to overthrow Turkey’s government and violating the Constitution, may face up to two aggravated life sentences.
He also faces a possible 132 years in prison for setting up an armed terror group, military and political espionage, forging documents, and money laundering.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen are believed to have orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.