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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
'Caliph of Cologne' loses battle
Metin Kaplan
Kaplan's group wants an Islamic state in Turkey
A court in Germany has ruled that a radical Muslim leader can be extradited to Turkey to face treason charges.

Metin Kaplan is accused of planning to crash a plane loaded with explosives into the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern, secular Turkey.

The decision overturns a previous ruling that he was unlikely to receive a fair trial in Turkey.

Mr Kaplan, the self-styled 'Caliph of Cologne' can appeal against the decision to a federal court.

The extradition announcement is a victory for the German government, which has been seeking to deport Mr Kaplan since he was released from jail last year after a four year sentence for inciting the killing of a rival cleric in Berlin in 1997.

Group banned

Mr Kaplan's group Caliphate State, which seeks to overthrow the secular government in Turkey, was banned in Germany after the 11 September attacks in the US.

"This is a decision to be applauded," said German Interior Minister Otto Schily in a statement.

"Today's verdict is an important signal: for foreigners who represent a danger to the security and order of our nation, there is no place in Germany."

Previously German courts have noted claims that some militant suspects have been tortured in Turkey.

But on Wednesday the court said that it had seen assurances by the Turkish government, and that Mr Kaplan "is not faced with a significant probability of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment in Turkey, and so is not entitled to protection from extradition".

'Caliph of Cologne' goes free
28 May 03  |  Europe
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12 Dec 01  |  Europe
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12 Dec 01  |  Europe
The European terror challenge
24 Mar 04  |  Europe


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