Austrian court accepts Turkey's extradition request for businessman Korkmaz - lawyer

An Austrian court has accepted Turkey’s extradition request for businessman Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, who is also wanted by the United States on charges of laundering proceeds from a U.S. renewable-energy tax credit fraud, Artı Gerçek news site reported on Monday.

Arrested in Austria in June at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, Korkmaz is accused of laundering more than $133 million in tax fraud proceeds through a network of businesses in Turkey.  Turkish prosecutors want the 46-year-old on the same charges and launched extradition proceedings against him in June.

If the Austrian court also accepts the extradition request of the United States, the final decision on which country Korkmaz will be extradited to will be made by the Austrian Ministry of Justice,  Artı Gerçek cited Korkmaz’s lawyer Volkan Dülger as saying on Monday.

The Austrian court will evaluate the extradition requests of both countries separately, Dülger said, noting that if the U.S. extradition request is rejected, Korkmaz would be extradited to Turkey.

Turkish prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Korkmaz in December. 

The planned arrest became the focus of hot political debate in Turkey after exiled mafia leader Sedat Peker claimed in a YouTube video that Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu had tipped the businessman off about the warrant, allowing him to flee the country.

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