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Court Gives Green Light to Extradition of Turkish National Accused of Terrorism

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, January 29
(TBILISI) - Georgia’s Court of Appeals maintained the verdict of Tbilisi City Court and refused the humanitarian status to Turkish national Mustafa Emre Cabuk, who is accused of having links with the terrorist organization believed to stand behind the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.

The verdict for Cabuk, who has been living in Georgia since 2002 and served as the quality manager of Demirel private college, means he may be extradited to Turkey.

Tuba Cabuk, Emre Cabuk’s wife, said that the verdict was “no surprise” and added that “in the case of the fair court” his husband would get the status.

Tuba Cabuk said her husband was innocent and in the case of extradition, his rights would be “roughly violated.”

She said she felt safe in Georgia and that was the reason the whole family needed the humanitarian status to live in the country.

The trials came after Georgia’s Refugee Ministry stated Cabuk could not provide arguments for having the status.

The decision was appealed by Cabuk’s lawyer Soso Baratashvili, who stated that the court’s verdict was “highly politicized”.

Refugee Minister Sozar Subari says that someone’s extradition is not within the competence of his body and claims that after the end of 2016, the situation in Turkish prisoners, in terms of human rights, has changed to positive.

After hearing the verdict, 21 leading Georgian NGOs have requested President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, to grant Cabuk the Georgian citizenship.

In his earlier statement, Georgia’s former Ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili stated that refusing the humanitarian status to Cabuk was likely to “lack evidence.”

Cabuk was detained on May 24, 2017 after the official visit of Turkish Prime Minister and members of Cabinet to Georgia.

A number of NGOs and the opposition parties, shortly after the detention, called on the government of Georgia not to extradite Cabuk.

Cabuk is charged of having links to the FETO organization, 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.

Cabuk dismisses any links with terrorists and says that sharing of Gulen’s views is not a crime.