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German Court Blocks Extradition of Islamist Turk

A German court rejected Turkey’s bid to extradite a militant Islamist on treason charges, saying it feared he would not face a fair trial if he returned home. Turkey accuses Metin Kaplan of planning a failed plot to crash an aircraft loaded with explosives into the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish state, in 1998. The administrative court in the western city of Cologne said on Wednesday it had turned down Turkey’s bid to extradite Kaplan, citing concern that a Turkish court might use information extracted from witnesses who had been tortured. The ruling upholds a decision from a lower court in May that blocked Kaplan’s extradition because of doubts about whether a trial in Turkey would comply with international law. A spokesman for Interior Minister Otto Schily said the German government did not consider Kaplan welcome in Germany and would do everything it could to ensure his expulsion. He said the ministry was examining the court ruling. Full Story

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