UK court to conclude FETO extradition case in November

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – A British court on Friday ruled that the extradition case of three individuals who are believed to be linked to the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO), which Turkey says is behind the July 2016 coup attempt, be decided end of November.

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 FETO terror group, and Bank Asya director Ali Celik – are to be extradited to Turkey, will hold the judgment hearing on Nov. 28 2019.

Ipek was detained in May after Turkey's request for his extradition over charges related to the aforementioned 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.

On Friday, the hearing continued to hear testimony, including that from a witness, allegedly from the Turkish judiciary, who answered questions from behind a curtain. His identity was not disclosed due to an anonymity order issued by the court.

The defense team submitted a request to lift all bail conditions previously set for the defendant but residence order; however, the court rejected to lift any of the previous bail conditions.

If 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.

251 people were killed and thousands of others were injured during the defeated coup on July 15, 2016.