Greek Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis decided to block a far-left terrorist's extradition to Turkey despite a court ruling clearing the process in early June.
Kontonis, who has the power to reject a court's extradition ruling, opted to stick with earlier decisions by Greek authorities on the case of Turgut Kaya, a member of the illegal Turkey Communist Party / Marxist - Leninist (TKP/ML) terrorist group.
Kaya is on the Turkish Interior Ministry's list of most wanted terrorists. Turkey had previously issued an Interpol arrest warrant for the militant.
In early June, the High Court in Greece ruled for extradition of Kaya, who was captured in February while trying to enter the country. The militant was later granted asylum on July 21, serving as the basis of the minister's decision.
Greek courts and authorities insistently reject Turkey's extradition requests despite clear evidence on crimes and violent attacks. Tensions between Turkey and Greece have run high lately due to the latter's decision to give asylum to pro-coup soldiers taking part in the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt and hijacked a military helicopter to flee the country.
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