13 March 2006
BRUSSELS — Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht is prepared to extradite militant Fehriye Erdal to her native Turkey if she is arrested.
He said over the weekend that Turkey has abolished the death penalty and Belgium has convicted Erdal for terrorist activities. He said this is sufficient reason to warrant her extradition.
De Gucht also said given the “serious suspicions” of Erdal’s role in the murder of Turkish businessman Ozdemir Sanbanci, he sees no reason why she should not be extradited.
But Erdal’s lawyer responded by saying that a Belgian court must decide over her possible extradition, stressing that De Gucht spoke prematurely.
“The judiciary must examine the extradition request and give advice to the government,” lawyer Paul Bekaert said.
“When the appeals court decides that she may not be extradited, the government will then normally follow that advice.”
Erdal disappeared two weeks ago on the eve of her conviction in absentia by Brugge Court for membership of the Turkish militant group DHKP-C.
An international arrest warrant has been issued for her capture and Turkey has lodged a request for Erdal’s extradition.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news