Extradition trial set for Turkish terror suspect

Defendant came to Cayman on cruise ship in December

A two-day trial has been set for Celal Kildag, the cruse ship passenger who arrived in Cayman on Dec. 8 and found a request waiting to extradite him to Turkey.

Kildag, 58, has been accused by Turkish authorities of terrorist acts in 1988. In previous court hearings, he said he had lived in Germany since the early 1980s.

On Tuesday, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards told Magistrate Grace Donalds that an expert report was awaited and it did not make sense to start a trial without it.

Defense attorney Laurence Aiolfi agreed to a timetable for papers and submissions.

The court was advised that the expert was expected to give evidence via video link.

The magistrate set the matter for hearing over two days, starting Tuesday, March 21. She extended Kildag’s bail until then.

Kildag arrived in Cayman aboard the MSC Opera and was detained after police in Cayman were alerted to an Interpol Red Notice, basically an international arrest warrant.

As reported previously, a family member told the Cayman Compass that Kildag emigrated in 1980 to Germany, where he was granted political asylum, and he has never returned to Turkey. He lives in Germany with his wife and two grown children.

At a hearing on Jan. 20-21, Mr. Aiolfi indicated he would be seeking to call an expert on human rights issues in Turkey. Kildag’s wife and daughter traveled from Germany for that hearing.

He had been remanded at Northward Prison since his arrest, but was granted bail on Jan. 20.

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