Venice court to ponder extraditing Turkish 'terror suspect'

Defense lawyer says Unal Erden political refugee, scapegoat

(ANSA) Venice, April 8 - A Venetian court will consider Thursday whether to accept a request by Turkey for extradition on charges of being a suspected Dhkp-c. terrorist group recruiter of Unal Erden, a Turkish doctor arrested Tuesday while on holiday in the lagoon city, judicial sources say.
    Erden's lawyer, Nicola Canestrini, said he is confident the extradition request will be rejected since Austria where Erden lives recognises he is a political refugee.
    "We are in a strong position because of then recognition of a state like Austria that gives unequivocal certainty that our client is a victim and not a murderer," Canestrini told ANSA.
    "This is a sadly political case borne out of the incapacity of the Turkish government to justify that happened, opening a sort of hunt for scapegoats".
    In addition to the hearing Thursday, Erden's case will be influenced by bilateral contacts between Italian and Turkish authorities that will require at least six weeks for transfer of documents before a final decision will be made, judicial sources say.
    The Venice Appeal Court presided over by Judge Giacomo Sartea formally will ask Erden if he accepts extradition voluntarily to Turkey and if not will decide whether to confirm his arrest.
    "Voluntary extradition will be rejected," Canestrini said, "in the case of confirmation, house arrest will be confirmed".


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