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German Court Refuses to Extradite Islamic Militant to Turkey - 2003-08-27


A German court has refused to extradite an Islamic militant back to Turkey, saying he is unlikely to get a fair trial there.

The court in the city of Cologne says Muhammed Metin Kaplan, whose Caliphate State group has been banned by the German government, no longer has a right to asylum in Germany.

But in its ruling Wednesday, the court also said Mr. Kaplan could not be deported to Turkey, which the court said would be a violation of the European human rights convention.

The decision leaves Mr. Kaplan facing an uncertain legal situation. In May, another German court rejected Turkey's extradition request, citing concerns he could face human rights abuses if he was sent back.

Turkey accuses Mr. Kaplan of planning violent attacks aimed at overthrowing the country's secular government.

Earlier this year, Mr. Kaplan completed a four-year German prison term for inciting members of his group to kill a rival Islamic leader.

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