A court in Greece on Wednesday denied Turkey's extradition request for a member of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) terrorist group who was arrested in November 2017 along with other militants ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to the country.
Athens Court of Appeals judges ruled that DHKP-C member Hazan Seçer should not be extradited to Turkey, after the prosecutor claimed the suspect would not receive a fair trial and might be accused of additional crimes in Turkey.
Seçer was referred back to prison in Greece, where her trial will continue.
The Greek judiciary also previously denied Turkey's extradition request for DHKP-C members Mehmet Doğan and Şadi Naci Özpolat.
In simultaneous raids in Athens, Greek police detained DHKP-C terrorists Seçer, Doğan, Özpoalt, Hasan Biber, Burak Ağarmış, Ali Gökoğlu, Anıl Sayar and İsmail Zat on Nov. 28, ahead of Erdoğan's visit on Dec. 7. Another suspect was identified either as Ergül Acer or Halil Demir.
Forged passports and IDs were found in the suspects' possession during the raid. Police have also found bomb-making materials and guns.
Greek media outlets claimed that the group of nine was plotting to attack Erdoğan during the visit.
Biber is known as the perpetrator of non-lethal rocket attacks targeting the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters, the Turkish National Police headquarters and a Justice Ministry building in Ankara in 2013.
Greece has long been one of the countries in which the DHKP-C is very active, and the terror group currently operates a camp disguised as a refugee camp, located in the town of Lavrion, 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Athens. However, in recent years, cooperation between the two countries has increased. In 2014, four Turkish men were arrested in Athens on terrorism-related offenses in connection with the DHKP-C, after a raid on an Athens apartment uncovered weapons, explosives and detonators. The operation followed the arrests of five Turks and three Greeks over a speedboat carrying arms that was intercepted in the Aegean Sea.
The move was seen as an improvement to the counter-terrorism cooperation between Turkey and Greece, although the refusal of Greek courts to extradite several suspects has overshadowed the efforts.
The DHKP-C, although less influential in Turkey than other terrorist organizations such as the PKK, still represents a considerable threat to the country's security, especially after a recent string of attacks.
The group is an offshoot of a Marxist-Leninist movement that was established in the 1970s. It was founded in the 1990s after it splintered off from a larger group of far-left organizations responsible for a string of attacks that include the assassination of two politicians in 1980, several intelligence officials and Özdemir Sabancı, a member of the Sabancı family, one of the richest families in Turkey that owns a large conglomerate of companies.
In addition to attacks against Turkish security forces, the DHKP-C is also responsible for the suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in the capital Ankara that killed a Turkish security guard and injured a journalist in February 2013.
The DHKP-C was also responsible for the killing of Mehmet Selim Kiraz, a prosecutor who was investigating the possible negligence of police in the death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan during Gezi Park riots. Kiraz was killed in his room at an Istanbul courthouse on March 31, 2015, after two militants took him hostage for several hours.
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