Turkish Media Mogul Fights Extradition in UK Trial
Akin Ipek, a Turkish businessman wanted for alleged links to a group Turkey blames for 2016’s coup attempt, is scheduled to appear at a U.K. court in Westminster on Tuesday, according to the Guardian.
Ipek was detained by British police on May 23 due to Turkey’s extradition request and released on bail of 50 thousand pounds, after appearing before a judge.
Turkish media reported that his passport was seized and he was put under house arrest. However, his company issued a statement denying the allegations of house arrest.
Ipek, who is known for founding the Koza Group of companies, will appear at Westminster magistrates, along with two other men.
Ipek’s newspapers and TV stations, in addition to his Koza Gold Corporation, were confiscated by the Turkish government, after he was accused of being a member of the Gulen movement, which Turkey holds responsible for the failed coup attempt that took place on July 15, 2016 and claimed 248 lives.
Among the charges attributed to Ipek in Turkey are “running a terrorist organization”, “financing terrorism” and “spreading terrorist propaganda”.
The businessman is facing up to 77 years in prison in case he is extradited to his home country.
Ipek’s brother Cafer Tekin Ipek and his mother Melek Ipek are also among the 45 co-defendants in Turkey’s Koza Ipek trial.
The 2016 coup attempt aiming to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was followed by a nationwide crackdown on journalists, academics, police officers, civil servants, teachers, judges, prosecutors and soldiers. They were either prosecuted or discharged from their positions. Scores of media outlets were seized or shut down.