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Court prolongs pre-extradition term of Turkish College Manager

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, August 25
Tbilisi City Court has decided to prolong the pre-extradition term of Mustafa Emre Cabuk, a Turkish college manager in Georgia, who was detained three months ago for alleged terrorist links with Fethullah Gulen.

According to the decision, the pretrial detention term was prolonged until November 24, 2017.

Soso Baratashvili, the lawyer of the detained claims, he will appeal the court’s decision. He believes the judge made an ungrounded decision.

“There are conclusions from several international organizations that indicate that the prosecution of Mustafa Emre Cabuk is politically motivated. The findings also indicate that there is inhumane treatment in Turkish prisons. It seems these arguments are not enough for the Georgian justice system,” he stated.

The lawyer also added that the extradition of Cabuk to Turkey is dangerous not only for him, but for his family members as well.

“Cabuk’s family has been put in a special protection program by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, because threats are coming from Turkey,” he added.

The Prosecutor of the case, Nino Zazunashvili, says the court made the right decision. She explains that the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia has the evidence presented by the Turkish side, which is a special coded program allowing communication only between members of terrorist organizations.

She also added that if Cabuk was released from pre-extradition detention, there were risks that he would hide from the prosecution.

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA), believes the court’s decision is not well-grounded.

GYLA lawyer Goga Khatiashvili says that in the event of Cabuk’s extradition, his safety is not guaranteed.

“It is possible that the case is politically motivated…it seems our country is not ready to protect the rights of foreign citizens living on Georgian territory,” he stressed.

Mustafa Emre Cabuk has been living in Georgia since 2002. From 2016 he has served as a Quality Management Manager of Demirel Private College.

Cabuk was detained on May 24 after the official visit of the Turkish Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet to Georgia.

Cabuk is charged of having links to the FETO organization, which is registered in the United States and associated with Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of orchestrating a military coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July, 2016.