Cyprus Mail

Lawyer appointed for Kurd wanted by Germany

Members of the Kurdish community protesting during an earlier court hearing

Larnaca district court on Monday approved a request by Cerkez Korkmaz, a Turkish national of Kurdish extraction who is being sought by German authorities, to have a state-appointed attorney represent him.

Korkmaz’s newly-appointed lawyer asked the court for permission to have translated into Turkish, Germany’s extradition request for his client, as well as all accompanying documents.

Lawyer Efstathios Efstathiou said his client wanted the documents translated into his native tongue in order to determine the precise terminology and grounds for extradition cited by the Germans, as he suspects that German authorities may be abusing their authority.

The judge granted the request, allowing one week for the certified translations to be completed.

The court also set the next five hearings for June 19, 20, 21, 24 and 28, advising all parties that the case is time-sensitive, as there is a deadline for when extradition proceedings must be completed.

Korkmaz , 60, was arrested on March 21 at Larnaca airport from where he was due to travel to Athens, after it emerged during passport control that German authorities had issued a European arrest warrant and extradition request against him on March 19.

He has been living in Cyprus for a number of years after being recognised as a political refugee, and possesses Cypriot travel documents.

He is wanted in connection with terrorism offences allegedly committed between 2013 and 2015 in Germany, reportedly concerning links to the PKK, the Kurdish Workers’ Party.

Korkmaz reportedly stayed in Germany between 2013 and 2014 and last visited the country in 2015.

His arrest caused a reaction in the Kurdish community living in Cyprus who are demanding his release arguing that Turkey is behind the arrest warrant.

Korkmaz was released from custody last week after he posted bail. He must however report daily to police, and has handed over his travel documents.


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