The Swedish government announced Thursday that it has decided to extradite a man to Turkey who is wanted for fraud, a move that comes after Sweden and Finland signed a deal with Ankara to cooperate on extradition to join NATO.
After signing the deal and lifting its objection to the Nordic nations joining NATO, Turkey submitted a list of dozens of suspected “terrorists” that it wants to be extradited, including suspected members of the Kurdish militant group PKK.
But the man Sweden announced its extraditing does not appear to be linked to the PKK, although he was on the list of names Turkey handed to Stockholm, according to the Swedish broadcaster SVT. The man, a Turkish citizen, had been sentenced to 14 years in prison in Turkey for credit card fraud but has been detained in Sweden for the past year.
The Turkish man argued to the Swedish Supreme Court that he was wrongfully convicted in Turkey because he converted to Christianity, refused military service, and has Kurdish heritage. But the Supreme Court decided to go through with the extradition.
“This is a normal, routine matter … The supreme court has examined the issue, as usual, and concluded that there are no obstacles to extradition,” said Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson.
Turkey has been frustrated with the lack of progress on extradition and has warned the Turkish Parliament could still block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. It’s not yet clear if the Swedish government will agree to extradite suspected PKK members as it is under intense domestic pressure not to do so.