Christmas behind bars for terror suspect

A 58-year-old man accused of terrorist activity in Turkey in the 1980s will spend Christmas in prison in Grand Cayman.

Celal Kildag is facing possible extradition to the eastern European country in connection with the killing of two people and the burning of two primary schools in 1988.

He has claimed he knows nothing of the offenses and that he has lived in Germany since 1980, where he has political asylum.

Mr. Kildag was arrested after arriving in Grand Cayman on the MSC Opera cruise ship on Dec. 8.

He appeared briefly before Magistrate Grace Donalds Wednesday at the extradition proceedings, where Laurence Aiolfi was confirmed as his attorney.

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards said she had contacted authorities in Turkey and was waiting for official documentation to be sent. There is a 45-day window from the time of Mr. Kildag’s arrest for the extradition hearing to take place.

Magistrate Donalds remanded him in custody until Dec. 29, when the case is listed for mention. The matter is not expected to be dealt with until next year.

Mr. Aiolfi said his client is a German citizen and would contest the extradition, saying he was not even in Turkey at the time of the alleged offenses.

Mr. Kildag is accused of being part of a Kurdish separatist movement, the PKK. He was arrested on the basis of an Interpol Red Notice – essentially an international arrest warrant – that was issued in November 2015.

 

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