Berlin, Dec 19 (EFE).- The Swedish Supreme court on Monday blocked the extradition of exiled journalist Bulent Kenes to Turkey, one of the demands made by Ankara in exchange for lifting its veto over the Nordic country’s accession to Nato.
Kenes is accused of participating in the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 and of being one of the 54 journalists who allegedly have links to the group of Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in the United States.
“Several obstacles” stood in the way of carrying out the extradition, one of which is that the charges Kenes are facing are not incriminating in Sweden, according to the top court.
The court explained in a statement that among the factors that resulted in blocking the handover was that these alleged crimes “are directed against the state and are political in nature” and that there was a risk of persecution because of the journalist’s political views.
The court ruling comes weeks after Sweden extradited a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to Turkey after he had taken refuge in the Scandinavian country since 2015.
Mahmut Tat was sentenced by Turkey to six years and three months in prison in 2015 over his alleged PKK membership.
Nato ally Turkey conditions ratifying Sweden and Finland’s Nato entry by, among other things, handing over various Turkish citizens accused of terrorism.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish minister of foreign affairs, said earlier this month that Finland and Sweden still need to take concrete steps to meet Turkey’s demands.
Ankara, according to Cavusoglu, has fewer problems with Finland than with Sweden, which “has more concrete steps to take such as financing of terrorism, freezing terrorist assets and extradition of criminals to Turkey.”EFE