Sweden’s government has decided to extradite a man to Turkey wanted for fraud, it said on Thursday, the first case since Turkey demanded a number of people extradited in return for allowing Stockholm to formally apply for NATO membership.
NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the Western alliance in June after weeks of tense negotiations where Ankara accused the two Nordic countries of harboring what Turkey says are militants of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
As part of the deal, Turkey submitted a list of people it wanted Sweden to extradite, but has since expressed frustration over the lack of progress.
The man, in his 30s, would be the first known case of an extradition to Turkey since the deal was struck.
“This is a normal routine matter. The person in question is a Turkish citizen and convicted of fraud offences in Turkey in 2013 and 2016,” Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson told Reuters in a text message.
“The Supreme Court has examined the issue as usual and concluded that there are no obstacles to extradition,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice declined to say if the man was on the list of people Turkey has demanded to have extradited or to provide further comment on the matter.
Swedish broadcaster SVT, which was first to report on the extradition, said the man was sentenced in Turkey to 14 years in prison on several accounts of bank card fraud.
The man, detained in Sweden since last year, says he has been wrongfully sentenced because he is a convert to Christianity, refused to do military service and has Kurdish roots, SVT said.