Governor reviews extradition request

| 20/01/2017 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service

Celal Kildag

(CNS): The Cayman Islands governor has not yet certified a request by the Turkish government to extradite a German citizen who was arrested on an Interpol warrant in Cayman when he arrived here on a cruise ship last November. Celal Kildag (58) appeared in court Friday on the eve of the legal deadline for his possible extradition to Turkey in the face claims by the authorities there that he was involved in terrorist offences in the 1980’s.

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards told the court that Turkey supplied the relevant extradition documents on Wednesday, 18 January, just three days before the 45 day deadline but that Governor Helen Kilpatrick was still reviewing the request. The case was therefore adjourned until Saturday, 21 January, the formal deadline for a decision to be made about whether or not the Cayman authorities will agree to the extradition.

Kildag, who has been in HMP Northward since his arrest in November, was bailed without objection from the crown to a hotel, as his wife and daughter have now arrived in Cayman. His passport was retained by the courts and a curfew between 10pm and 6am was imposed on him for Friday evening before he returns to court tomorrow to learn his fate. Since his arrest he has made it clear through his attorney Laurence Aiolfi, of Samson & McGrath, that he will fight the extradition if the governor certifies the Turkish request.

Kildag is an ethnic Kurd who left Turkey in the 1980’s and was granted political asylum in Germany, where he has lived ever since. The Turkish authorities claim that Kildag was involved in killings committed by a Kurdish separatist movement in the eastern part of Turkey in 1988. Kildag, however, has denied any involvement and has said that he left the country in the early 1980’s for Germany and has never been back to Turkey.

The Interpol warrant, which was issued in relation to Kildag by the Turkish authorities and triggered when he docked in Cayman on a cruise ship, was just over a year old. There has been no indication why the Turkish authorities raised the warrant more than thirty years after the alleged offences.

In recent months, concerns have been raised about the increasingly authoritarian nature of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime in Turkey, where growing numbers of people are being imprisoned for what appears to be politically motivated reasons. One of the regime’s many targets are the ethnic Kurds and the various separatist political movements.

Although the United Kingdom has an extradition treaty with Turkey, which extends to Cayman, the authorities do not automatically extradite suspects without giving some consideration to the details of the case and the human rights implications. The authorities in Turkey are not required to send evidence of their accusations but it is understood that the authorities here have raised Kildag’s claims that he was not in Turkey at the time the alleged offences were carried out.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Local News

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hes none of our business, just send him off on his way.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Kurds were historically the subjects of genocide in Turkey. This man will not a fair trial and the extradition request should be rejected for this reason.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully Germany is helping defend his rights. This allegedly happened 30 years ago and only last year Turkey laid these charges. Turkey is a borderline democracy. Turkey should try to extradite him from Germany, not yanked off a cruise ship on a family vacation. The governor should get him back home to Germany they let Turkey battle from there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Free this man and cayman can be viewed in a good light on the world stage or side with turkey and be painted with the same brush as they r

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don’t send him back. Erdogan is out of control.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Turkish government is an illegitimate piece of horse manure. They oppress their people, especially women and gays and then they expect us to extradite those who don’t agree with them.
    Go take a hike, Turkey.
    Come back when you become civilized.

  7. Unison says:

    MY ADVICE TO THE GOVERNOR: If Turkey can’t produce clear evidence that pins this man to a terrorist act, don’t sentence an innocent man to death. Like Pilate to Christ, the power of life and death is in your hands.

    Rather, because we know nothing about this man of shady character, send him back to Germany – since they were the ones that granted him political asylum in the first place. We are too small to be taking chances with strangers of character in question, we know nothing about. :/

    • Jotnar says:

      You know nothing about him other than a) the Germans are obviously happy to have him as a citizen, since they admitted him and have not extradited him, and b) Turkey wants him, but you consider sending him to Turkey is a death sentence. How does that morph into “this man of shady character” ? You critcise Turkey for not having evidence, but seem prepared to condemn him yourself based on an unsubstantiated allegation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.