Spain refuses to extradite author to Turkey

Spain said on Friday it would not extradite a German-Turkish author accused by Turkey of "terrorism", weeks after freeing a journalist wanted by Ankara.

Spain refuses to extradite author to Turkey
German-Turkish author Dogan Akhanli. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

“The government has decided against proceeding with the extradition of Dogan Akhanli as called for by Turkey,” Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.

Reacting to Spain's decision, the author told German daily Kolner Stadt Anzeiger: “I'm very relieved. This is what I've been waiting for.”

Akhanli, 60, has lived in Germany since 1991. He was arrested in August while on holiday in southern Spain following an Interpol warrant initiated by Ankara accusing him of “terrorism”, his lawyer said.

After Berlin objected, Akhlani was released but instructed to remain in Spain until a decision was made on his extradition.

He says Turkey wants to arrest him for his books on the mass killings of Armenians during World War I and the rights of Turkey's Kurdish minority.

Akhlani's arrest followed the detention of journalist Hamza Yalcin by Spanish police on a Turkish warrant on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and of having links to an unspecified “terror group”.

The joint Swedish-Turkish national was freed last month and Spain said he would not be extradited to Turkey due to his refugee status in Sweden.

Turkey ranks 155 on Reporters Without Borders' latest press freedom index, below Belarus and the Democratic Republic of Congo, after dropping four places from its 2016 ranking.


Suspect in Spain police slaying agrees to be extradited to Italy

A Serbian-born man arrested in Spain over the killing of three men agreed on Sunday to be extradited to Italy where he is wanted for robbery and murder, a Spanish court said.

Suspect in Spain police slaying agrees to be extradited to Italy
Officers at the scene in the aftermath of the shooting. Photo: Guardia Civil/Twitter

Police arrested Norbert Feher on Friday in a rural area of Teruel province in the northeastern region of Aragon, where the slaying of two police officers and a rancher happened a day earlier.

During questioning by a judge, the 36-year-old said he had been in Spain since September and agreed to be sent back to Italy, the Superior Court of Justice of Aragon said in a statement.

The court said Italy could ask for him to be temporarily returned so he could stand trial for homicide and robberies before serving a possible prison sentence in Spain for the triple murder.

The Spanish judge took the testimony of Feher, who Italian media said was nicknamed “Igor the Russian”, to comply with a European arrest warrant Italy had issued for him.

Spanish police said he was in possession of three firearms at the time of his arrest, two belonging to the slain officers.