Turkey again seeks legal assistance against Tampere man who insulted Erdoğan | New
The Pirkanmaa District Court has previously rejected similar claims by Turkey on the grounds that the Tampere man would not receive a fair trial in Turkey and would be subject to human rights abuses.
Turkey tries again to hold dual Turkish-Finnish citizen residing in Tampere responsible for insulting its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The latest MLA request came to Finland’s Justice Ministry shortly after Erdoğan began publicly stating the conditions for his country to support Finland’s NATO membership.
Turkey has requested the Tampere man’s extradition once before, but the Justice Ministry rejected the request in 2021. The MLA request is dated May 23 in Turkey.
The man is accused by Turkey of posting derogatory photos of the president and derogatory comments about him on Facebook, according to the prosecutor. The Tampere man has repeatedly denied the crime.
On June 27, several Turkish media published a list of people that Turkey wants Finland and Sweden to extradite as “terrorists” or suspects of other crimes. Although this man from Tampere is not considered a terrorist, he is listed as a suspect for defaming the Turkish president.
The Ministry of Justice received two extradition requests from Turkey this year, but they were made before Finland applied for admission to NATO.
There have, however, been several requests for legal assistance since Erdoğan began imposing conditions on Finland. Taina Neira of the Ministry of Justice says that these requests do not refer to any list published in the Turkish media.
Turkey once requested the Tampere man’s extradition, but the Justice Ministry denied the request in 2021.
The Pirkanmaa District Court rejected Turkey’s previous requests for legal aid in 2019 and 2021.
With the request for legal assistance ongoing, the Turkish prosecutor is asking Finland for legal assistance to continue the case against the Tampere man in Turkey.
Turkey has not renewed its extradition request but wants Finnish justice to summon the man to appear in the case.
Application rejected twice for violation of human rights
The Finnish law on international legal assistance in criminal matters stipulates that legal assistance will not be granted if it is contrary to the principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Turkey’s latest mutual legal assistance request has not yet been opened.
According to Turkey’s previous requests for legal assistance, the alleged crimes took place in February 2016. The Turkish prosecutor has already filed charges against the man from Tampere in Turkey in December 2016.
In its decision on the second application for legal aid, the Pirkanmaa District Court stated that the granting of legal aid would be contrary to the principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms due to the Turkish penal code, which would place the matter under the direct influence of the President.
Although the court mentioned that the Tampere man’s writings were vulgar, they were clearly directed against the Turkish regime and political system and did not constitute defamation.
According to the court, the writings can be assessed as provocative comments related to political disagreements and therefore be considered understandable.
The district court ruled that the political nature of the Tampere man’s writings would prevent him from receiving a fair trial in Turkey. Therefore, the tribunal did not grant Turkey’s earlier requests for legal assistance.
The court previously found that granting legal aid from Turkey would violate the principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Finnish legal system.