British court continues FETO extradition case

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – A London court on Wednesday continued considering the extradition of three fugitives accused of involvement with the defeated 2016 terrorist coup in Turkey, which killed 251 people and injured thousands of others.

The case being heard at the Westminster Magistrates Court will decide whether former Koza Holding Director Hamdi Akin Ipek and two other defendants – Talip Buyuk, the alleged Iraq “imam” of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and Bank Asya Director Ali Celik – are extradited to Turkey.

The court on Wednesday issued an anonymity order for an unidentified witness who the defense team said also is being sought by Turkey for alleged involvement with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated July 15, 2016 coup.

The court also heard Jeffrey Jowell, Turkey rapporteur for the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, before adjourning until Thursday afternoon.

Ipek was detained in May due to Turkey's request for his extradition over charges related to the defeated coup.

A court confiscated his passport and banned him from leaving London but released him on £50,000 ($66,000) bail, a common procedure in extradition cases in the U.K.

If he is extradited, Ipek, 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.

In addition to orchestrating the defeated coup, Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.