'US has mechanisms to prevent Gülen's escape'
The State Department said on Tuesday that the U.S. has mechanisms to prevent the possible escape of the leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the retired imam Fethullah Gülen, who is seen as a potential flight risk due to an investigation regarding Ankara's demand for his extradition to Turkey.
Speaking during the Department's daily briefing, spokesman Mark Toner said that regarding a border crossing by a Green Card holder such as Gülen who is under investigation that there are "There are mechanisms in place – short of an extradition, you can stop someone or not allow them to take place."
He added that the U.S. will not take any legal action on Gülen's extradition request by Turkey not based on evidence and until he is found guilty. Ankara requested Gülen's extradition almost a month ago, accusing him of orchestrating a recent coup attempt in Turkey.
Toner said "I think we need to be very deliberate – and we are being very deliberate – about analyzing the materials that we've had." He added "My understanding is that we wouldn't take any action, legal action against an individual until we determine" [the legal status of material provided by Turkey].
He said the U.S. has processed the request apart from any politically- or emotionally-driven reaction, but based on a 1979 extradition treaty between Turkey and the U.S.
"We need to be very deliberate and we are being very deliberate about analyzing the materials that we've had," Toner said. "I just want to say we've received several batches of materials from the Turkish authorities and we're analyzing them."
Toner was asked to clarify whether the U.S has seen sufficient evidence against Gülen, as the U.S. has not arrested the cleric since the extradition process began. The treaty between the two countries requires the host country to detain a suspect for 60 days following an extradition demand.
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