Sweden Refuses To Extradite Exiled Journalist Kenes

The Swedish Supreme Court has blocked the extradition of an exiled journalist to Turkey.

President Erdogan had sought the repatriation of Bulent Kenes as a condition of Sweden’s NATO membership.

The top court of Sweden has ruled that extradition of exiled Turkish journalist Bulent Kenes is impossible under the circumstances.

The court stated there were “many hindrances” to the extradition of Kenes, the former editor-in-chief of the Zaman daily newspaper, including the fact that some of the claims against him are not crimes in Sweden.

This, together with his refugee status and the political character of his case, rendered extradition difficult, according to the statement.

“Persecution based on this person’s political opinions is also a possibility. As a result, extradition cannot take place ” said the Court.

Kenes, who now works for the Stockholm Center for Freedom, a group established up by fellow Turkish dissidents in exile, said that he was “glad” about the decision.

He insisted that the allegations leveled against him were made up by the administration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish officials accuse Kenes of taking part in a 2016 coup attempt and of being a follower of US-based imam Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the plot. Gulen has categorically denied any participation.