A court in capital Ankara formally drafted a request for the extradition of Adil Öksüz, a senior figure of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) wanted for his involvement in last year's deadly coup attempt in Turkey.
The Fourth High Criminal Court in Ankara tasked with the trial of 486 defendants, including Öksüz, for the takeover of Akıncı Air Base - where he was captured - on July 15, 2016 for use in the coup attempt, formally drafted the request, according to Anadolu Agency (AA). The request was sent to the Turkish Justice Ministry responsible conveying such requests to their foreign counterparts. The same court sent a similar request for the extradition of Fatih Arık, another defendant in the case who hijacked a military helicopter to fly to Greece when the coup was foiled.
Referred to as the "black box"of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), Öksüz, originally a theology lecturer, reportedly acted as the "air force imam" of FETÖ. Ankara has placed Öksüz in the "red category" of the country's most wanted terror suspects, offering a reward of up to TL 4 million ($1.1 million) for tips that lead to his capture. He is believed to have fled abroad as nationwide searches have failed to locate him.
Öksüz was captured at a military base that served as the command center of the putschists after the coup was quelled, but a court controversially released him from custody one day later. He was last spotted in his hometown of Sakarya before he disappeared. Media outlets had reported sightings of the suspect in Germany, and Ankara had recently asked Berlin to investigate the sightings and arrest Öksüz if he was found.
EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik said in August when the sightings of Öksüz in Germany were first reported that it was "a crystal clear matter" for both countries and they expected Berlin to act in line with "our cooperation." "No friend of Turkey can shelter a killer. It would be worrying that someone wanted by Turkish security forces for the involvement in the killing of people would be housed by a friend," Çelik said, pointing to the remarks from a German government spokesman who said they cannot confirm or deny if Öksüz was in Germany.
The Turkish media reported that he was spotted in Frankfurt and Ulm, while others claimed that the German state of Baden-Württemberg granted him a temporary residency permit.
German authorities do not share information about asylum seekers, citing international obligations.
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