UK rejects Turkey's extradition request for FETÖ-linked businessman
A British court has rejected an extradition request from Turkey for businessman Akın İpek to face terrorism-funding, fraud and other charges, saying he faced a real risk of ill-treatment should he be returned.
İpek and two other men, Ali Çelik and Talip Büyük, who are said by Ankara to be high-ranking members of the illegal FETÖ, were arrested by Britain earlier this year following extradition requests from Turkey.
They were accused of a series of charges including fundraising for terrorism, fraud and conspiracy to launder proceeds of crime.
John Zani, District Judge at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court, said while he had “serious reservations about the current state of the rule of law in Turkey,” he accepted that the suspects would receive a fair trial there.
But he rejected the extradition requests saying the men risked ill-treatment on their return.
The Turkish government is expected to appeal to London’s High Court against the decision, while the justice minister said the verdict could not be accepted.
“It is an unacceptable ruling that our extradition request for FETÖ fugitives Akın İpek, Ali Çelik and Talip Büyük was rejected by Britain,” said Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül.
“Our struggle will continue until the members of the terrorist organization are brought to Turkish justice,” he added.