29 Kasım 2017 Çarşamba
Consolation Prize Prisoner Swap
links to original Turkish article
(Hürriyet Daily News, 29 November 2017)
see this TNT report about the two Russian spies.
Coming to Turkey: Would that their names were 'Gülen'
Turkey has extradited two Russian spies in exchange for two
Crimean Tatar politicians jailed in Russia, daily Habertürk
reported on Nov. 29.
Aleksandr Smirnov and Lurii Anisimov, who were arrested last
year in relation to the killing of Chechen commander Vahid
Edelgiriev in Istanbul, were extradited to Moscow as Ilmi Umerov
and Ahtem Chiygoz were released and sent to Turkey.
According to reports, Edelgireyev was shot and stabbed by
assassins using a white car on Nov. 1, 2015, in the Kayaşehir
district of Istanbul.
In response to the assassination, units from Turkey’s National
Intelligence Agency (MIT), together with the police, carried out
Operation “Kama” in April 2016, which culminated with the
arrests of Smirnov, 55, and Anisimov, 52, over their suspected
involvement in the murder.
According to the indictment prepared in February, the two
Russian spies were part of a “lead unit” responsible for killing
seven Chechens between 2000 and 2015.
The suspects were accused of “attempting to obtain secret state
information for political or military espionage purposes,”
“helping in voluntary manslaughter” and “forgery of official
documents” in the indictment, which also claimed that the
Russians provided logistical and technical support to the hitmen.
While the indictment revealed Russian links to fugitive hitmen,
both spies denied the charges against them.
During a hearing of the case on Oct. 24, a significant
development took place when the court received notices sent
by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Terror and
Organized Crime Bureau and Justice Ministry’s International
Law and Foreign Relations.
The prosecutor subsequently demanded the release of Anisimov
and Smirnov based on a recent change made to article 26 of MİT
law, following the state of emergency decree.
According to the decree, published in the Official Gazette on
Aug. 15, extraditions or exchanges between countries are
permissible in cases concerning national security and the
country’s interests if they are demanded by the foreign or
justice ministries or the president.
On the strength of this amendment, the Russian agents were
released and extradited to Russia, which was followed by the
release of jailed Crimean Tatar politicians Umerov and Chiygoz.
Last month, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko thanked
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his role in helping
free the pair in a Twitter post.
Umerov, deputy head of the Crimean Tatars’ semi-official
Mejlis legislature before it was suspended by Moscow, was
sentenced by a Russian court to two years in jail for
Chiygoz, another Crimean Tatar leader, was sentenced
at the same time to eight years for stirring up anti-Russian
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