A London court Tuesday began hearing the extradition case of three fugitives alleged of involvement with the defeated 2016 terrorist coup in Turkey.
The case, which will decide whether former Koza Holding Director Hamdi Akin Ipek and two other defendants � Talip Buyuk, the alleged Iraq imam of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and Bank Asya Director Ali Celik � are extradited to Turkey, opened in the afternoon at the Westminster Magistrates Court.
In the opening hearings, lawyers for Ipek, Buyuk, and Celik made extensive use of materials gathered from traditional and social media.
Ipek was detained on May 23 due to a case opened by the British Home Office on Turkey's request for his extradition with charges related to the defeated July 15, 2016 coup.
A British court confiscated Ipek's passport and banned him from leaving London but released him on Pound 50,000 ($66,000) bail, asking him to keep his cellphone turned on all hours every day.
Bailing defendants in extradition cases is a common procedure in the U.K.
Ipek and the other defendants are due to appear again at the same court Wednesday morning. The case is expected to continue for a few days.
If he is extradited, Ipek, accused of attempting to overthrow Turkey's government and violating the Constitution, may face up to two aggravated life sentences.
He also faces a possible 132 years in prison for setting up an armed terror group, military and political espionage, forging documents, and money laundering.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Source: Anadolu Agency