Akın İpek, a businessman wanted by Turkey for financing the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), is facing an extradition hearing in London, where he now lives after leaving Turkey three years ago.
The hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court follows an order by a U.K. court banning him from leaving London. The trial is expected to last a few days. Previously, the British Home Office paved the way for the extradition process by announcing that Turkey's request for extradition was legitimate, although a district court dismissed some charges against İpek.
He is currently sought by Turkish authorities for "managing a terror group, financing terrorism, embezzlement and spreading propaganda for a terror group." İpek left Turkey prior to the seizure of his Koza Holding by court order in October 2015. He lost lawsuits he filed in U.K. courts for the return of his assets seized by Turkey. İpek's brother, Cafer İpek, and mother, Melek İpek, are among 45 defendants currently on trial in Turkey for FETÖ links with his business conglomerate.
Akın İpek, who studied business in the United Kingdom, inherited a printing business from his father and in the 2000s, his business empire considerably expanded - with some critics tying it to his links to FETÖ - and branched into the mining sector with a gold mine in western Turkey. He made a foray into media by buying the Bugün newspaper in 2005. It was followed by more media purchases, including Kanaltürk TV and the establishment of Bugün TV. Newspapers and TV stations were well-known mouthpieces of FETÖ before Turkey moved to shut them down.
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