Korkmaz more likely to be extradited to the U.S, not Turkey, to face charges - legal analyst

A Turkish businessman facing extradition from Austria for committing financial crimes is more likely to be sent to the United States than Turkey to face charges, legal experts told Deutsch Welle’s Turkish edition on Friday. 

Timuçin Köprülü, an international criminal lawyer at Atilim University in Ankara, said that Sezgin Bagan Korkmaz explained Austria is part of extradition agreements with the United States as well as Turkey. He said that in making the decision on which country to extradite Korkmaz to, Austria will take into account certain criteria before making the choice. 

According to Köprülü, reasons such as the place where the crime was committed, the nationality of the victim of the crime, the gravity of the crimes committed, the possibility of extradition to another state or states in case of extradition to one of the requesting states, the historical order and chronology of the extradition requests are examined. 

Using these factors, Köprülü believes that it is more likely Korkmaz will be sent to the U.S over Turkey. 

The businessman stands accused in the U.S of involvement in an illegal scheme to obtain $511 million in tax credits from the  U.S. government by a Utah-based company, Washakie Renewable Energy (WRE). The company claimed it was producing biodiesel fuel that is environmentally friendly, attaining tax credits per gallon. 

His partners in this scheme are the now arrested Kingston Brothers, who testified in court about their relationship with Korkmaz. 

In Turkey, Korkmaz’s assets were frozen and a search warrant was issued for him in May. Last December, a Turkish law enforcement raided homes and offices that belonged to him after previously finding no trace of wrongdoing in his assets. 

Köprülü said that Korkmaz also is unlikely to get to choose which country he is ultimately extradited to, despite his stated desire to be sent to Turkey for a trial. 


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