Sweden rejects four extradition requests from Turkey - report

Sweden rejects four extradition requests from Turkey - report
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Swedish government will not send back four individuals wanted by Turkey, after the high court blocked their extradition

The Swedish government will not extradite four people sought by Turkey, which says they belong to a cult it accuses of being behind a coup attempt in 2016, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Swedish news agency TT.

The extradition requests were made in 2019 and 2020, before Sweden and Finland signed an agreement with Turkey aimed at overcoming Ankara's objections to the two Nordic countries joining the NATO military alliance.

Sweden's High Court decided last summer the four could not be extradited, TT said.

According to Swedish law, the government has to follow the court’s decision.

Sweden's Foreign Ministry could not comment immediately on the report.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called a separate decision by the High Court in December to block the extradition of Turkish journalist Bulent Kenes a "very negative" development.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had singled out Kenes as a person Ankara wanted extradited from Sweden as a condition for Ankara's approval for Stockholm to join NATO.

Finland and Sweden both asked to join NATO in May 2022 in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but their bids require the approval of all 30 NATO member states, including Turkey.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Sunday said the country had done what it could to meet Turkey’s demands and could not fulfill all its conditions but on Wednesday he told reporters there had been a “misunderstanding”, and that he respected Ankara’s right to make its own decision on ratification.