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Kosovo court sentences former spy chief over Turkish arrests

Attempted Coup D'etat In Turkey
Attempted Coup D'etat In Turkey July 2016. EPA/SEDAT SUNA

A Kosovo court has sentenced the country’s former secret service chief to four years and eight months in prison for the arrest and extradition to Turkey of six Turkish nationals over a failed 2016 coup attempt.

The six Turkish nationals, arrested and deported to Turkey in 2018, were accused by Ankara of links to schools financed by the Gulen movement which the Turkish authorities blame for the failed coup.

Former chief spy Driton Gashi was sentenced over misuse of official position and authority, Pristina’s basic court said in a statement. Two other officials were acquitted. Gashi had claimed he was not guilty.

The defendant and the prosecution can appeal the verdict to a higher court.

After their deportation, all six Turkish nationals were sentenced to prison terms of between seven and 15 years.

Human-rights activists have accused Kosovo, which maintains close relations with Turkey, of violating human rights over the arrests.

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