FETO extradition case continues in UK

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – A law professor has admitted that he wrote a report on Turkey after being approached by an affiliate of the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO) on Thursday on the third day of an extradition case of three individuals who are believed to be linked to the group, which Turkey says is behind the July 2016 coup attempt.

Turkey rapporteur for the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission Jeffrey Jowell’s remarks came during a cross examination at the Westminster Magistrates Court, which 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 to be extradited to Turkey.

Jowell, who was called to the court by the defense team, admitted that he never met four individuals mentioned in a report into the "rule of law" in Turkey but that it was “desk-based”.

Also admitting that he did not visit Turkey to write the report, Jowell said, upon a question, that he was approached by solicitors representing Gazeteciler ve Yazarlar Vakfi (Journalists and Writers Foundation) as clients.

Jowel declined to respond to Anadolu Agency's questions following the hearing.

The court will continue Friday morning with a statement from a witness whose identity would not be disclosed due to an anonymity order by the judge the previous day.

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 a £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.