06:06, November 28 318 0 theguardian.com

2018-11-28 06:06:11
UK court rejects Turkish extradition request for media boss

A judge has thrown out an extradition request by the Turkish government for a dispossessed media proprietor to be sent for trial in Ankara.

Judge John Zani refused the application on the grounds that the legal request was “politically motivated”.

Akın İpek, whose newspapers and TV stations have been confiscated by Turkish officials for criticising President Recep Tayip Erdoğan’s regime, appeared alongside three other men at Westminster magistrates court on Wednesday.

The case against İpek and his co-accused follows demands for the UK to send back fugitives supposedly involved with the Fethullah Gülen movement, which the Turkish government claims was responsible for the 2016 uprising against Erdoğan.

Last year, the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yıldırım, met her the British counterpart, Theresa May, and asked her to extradite those supposedly associated with the failed coup.

The judge said the men’s transfer to Turkey would put at risk their rights not to be tortured or subject to degrading treatment.

The Crown Prosecution Service, which represented the Turkish government in the hearing, said it would appeal against the decision.

The ruling is the latest in a series of refusals by the British courts to extradite suspects to Turkey where thousands of journalist, lawyers and civil servants remain in prison following the failed 2016 coup.