Court clears Kildag to go home

| 05/04/2017 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Celal Kildag and his wife told the media Wednesday that they were immensely relieved after Magistrate Grace Donalds delivered her ruling stopping his extradition to Turkey, having found that the delay of 29 years was a barrier to the process. Magistrate Donalds said the Turkish authorities had not given “an adequate explanation” for the excessive delay and it would be “oppressive to return” Kildag, who is a German citizen, to Turkey, as she cleared him to go home after an enforced stay of more than four months in Cayman on bail.

Kildag was arrested on an Interpol warrant on behalf of his native Turkey, accused of being a member of the separatist movement, the PKK, and of terrorist offences, including murder and arson.

But the court hearing Tuesday revealed that it was likely to have been a false allegation. Kildag is an ethnic Kurd who was granted asylum in Germany after he fled Turkey some 37 years ago. He has said, and evidence appears to support his claim, that he was not in Turkey at the time of the alleged offences and has never returned to the country since he left it in 1980.

Shortly after he was discharged by the court, Kildag said it had been a very emotional time for him and his family but he was looking forward to returning to Germany with his wife, who was in Cayman for the hearing. The couple said that it had been a terrible shock for them to learn that he could be wrongly accused of such terrible things and it had been a real worry for the whole family about what could happen after his arrest here.

Despite his ordeal, including spending Christmas in HMP Northward before he was bailed, Kildag said the Cayman Islands authorities had treated him impeccably. He said he had no complaints about the police or even the prison, where he had been treated very well, and he was very happy with the decision of the courts. He also said that once he was bailed, the people he met had also treated him very kindly and he expressed his gratitude to them.

The couple said they had come to the Caribbean to take a cruise to celebrate an anniversary but they would be content to take holidays in Germany for the foreseeable future.

The challenge for Kildag now is getting the Interpol warrant for his arrest lifted, and although that should happen automatically after thirty years since the alleged crime took place, with 12 months remaining, Kildag still risks arrest if he travelled anywhere else. However, his wife indicated that the German authorities had also taken a close interest in their case and they will be doing what they can when they get home to stop the warrant.

Kildag’s warrant was one of around 3,000 that have been issued in recent years by the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, many of which are aimed at supporters of his political opponents or ethnic Kurds like Kildag. It appears that the increasingly authoritarian government in Turkey is now using Interpol as a political tool.

The RCIPS has faced criticisms for its part in the arrest of Kildag, as it became increasingly apparent that the arrest warrant was in all likelihood based on false charges. But the police stated today that they have an obligation under international agreements to execute Interpol warrants. A spokesperson for the RCIPS stated that the Cayman Islands is subject to the Extradition Act (2003) for Overseas Territories (2016 Order no. 990).  

“This sets forth the obligations we carry and further, the list of countries with which we have extradition treaties,” the police spokesperson said. “Essentially, when an Interpol red notice exists in connection with a person believed to be present in the territory, and this ‘red notice’ was issued from a country with whom the Cayman Islands has an extradition treaty, then we are compelled to act on that notice.”

This means the police are required to confirm the identity of the person in question, that the country issuing the notice still intends to seek extradition and then acquiring a local arrest warrant. After that the extradition process begins. 

“An extradition hearing (then) takes place, during which the substance of the extradition request is examined, and the extradition request is denied or granted,” the police added. “Our actions in the case of Mr Kildag, as well as prior cases involving other extradition requests, closely followed the provisions of the Extradition Act. This is the third arrest and extradition hearing to have occurred in the past three years following an Interpol ‘red notice’.  In the other two cases, the extradition requests were granted,” the RCIPS stated.

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Category: Immigration, Local News

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why do those who claim that CIG may not be liable for a payout hold that view? CI authorities were just following procedures in arresting Mr. Kildag under Interpol warrant, you say? He lives in Germany, right? Did he board the cruise ship in Germany and sail directly to Grand Cayman? NO! Most likely he boarded at a US port. So he had to travel through at least three immigration points before reaching Cayman (the point where he left Germany, the point where entered the US and the port where he boarded the ship). So then why wasn’t he arrested at either of those? Could it be that due diligence was conducted? But yet he was snatched up at port of George Town and arrested??!!

    BIG payout by CIG forthcoming but of course we’ll never know!! Wonder if any local media house will keep tabs?

  2. Anonymous says:

    For all those who was quick to say send him back to Turkey, I wonder what are they saying now? Don’t too quick to pass judgement.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Justice is served- full marks to Grace Donalds. This man and his wife have been through a nightmare, Erdogan is just continuing the ethnic cleansing his predecessors carried out before him.

    • anonymous says:

      I can only imagine what it is like to be falsely accused. So happy this man has been exonerated and can go on with his life, but he and his family have no doubt been through hell.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a big payout CIG will have to make – again!! Please, please, CNS, as a media outlet can you please investigate and report how much public funds have been paid by our Government in questionable arrests, to suspended civil servants and for HSA malpractice over the past few years. It must be an astounding amount !

    Who is being held accountable for such waste of public funds??

    • anonymous says:

      Dont think there are any grounds for a big payout. It was not the CIG case and Interpol’s warrants have to be respected. It is not up to the RCIPS to try the case — that is up to the Courts.

      A happy outcome, as far as I can see. I wish this couple well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can we say “another” law suit against the CIG????

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac cost us millions all by himself, and was not held accountable for a cent.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good luck and safe journey!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So happy for him. Magistrate Donalds did the right thing. After almost 30 years – he should not have been arrested in the first place.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    I believe the judge made the right decision here. From the evidence, it appears he has been persecuted for a long time..They still won in any case as they left his family broke and afraid to ever leave Germany again..Sad world we live in..

  9. 345 says:

    Maybe Imperato or Dart will lend him one of their jets and fly him directly to Deutschland, That would avoid Trumpmerica and no plan BrexMay

    • Anonymous says:

      Grow up. If something or someone goes not the way you want to, it doesn’t mean you need to regress to name calling and stomp your feet.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It really bothers me that someone can be an accused terrorist and be on bail

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess it doesn’t bother you when murderers and rapists are on bail…these could be considered terrorists too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Depends on the circumstances. In this case, he was no threat.

    • Yes Suh says:

      I guess what really bothers me is when people aren’t smart enough to understand what they see and/or hear – or, when they’re not smart enough to know that is it always best to say nothing when they have no idea what they’re talking about.

      • Anonymous says:

        Problem is that most people who have no idea what they are talking about are generally clueless about their cluelessness…. this goes for a LOT of the commenters here…

    • anonymous says:

      The gentleman has been exonerated by the Courts. And he did spend a period in jail before bail.

      I believe that the decision to grant bail was considered carefully on the basis of the facts presented by lawyers in court. I have absolutely no problems in having faith in the courts to make the right decision.

      8:56 pm, an accusation does not a terrorist make. I am sure that the facts had begun to come out at the bail hearing. In addition, the man’s conduct at the prison was no doubt taken into consideration.

      The man had the right to due consideration of the facts to enable bail.

    • Anonymous says:

      Innocent until proven guilty.

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