On August 23, the Tbilisi City Court upheld the prosecution’s motion and extended by three months the pre-extradition detention period for Turkish citizen Mustafa Emre Çabuk, one of the managers of Private Demirel College in Tbilisi.
The Court said on August 23 that “a milder form of preventive measure” for Çabuk, who is wanted by Turkey allegedly for having links to Fethullah Gülen-associated FETÖ - an organization designated as terrorist by Ankara, would fail to guarantee “the proper conduct of the person during the extradition procedures,” citing “high” risk of Çabuk absconding the case proceedings.
Çabuk’s lawyer Soso Baratashvili condemned the Court’s decision as “unjustified” and said he would challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeal.
Mustafa Emre Çabuk was detained on May 24 at the request of Turkish authorities and was sent to three-month pre-extradition detention by the Tbilisi City Court a day later. According to Georgia’s legislation, the prosecution can request the extension of pre-extradition detention period two times, making the total detention period nine months in duration.
The detention and possible extradition of Mustafa Emre Chabuk has been heavily criticized by local and international human rights organizations.
In parallel to the case, a separate court proceeding is underway involving Çabuk’s request to grant him and his family a refugee status in Georgia. The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia turned down the request in early July. Soso Baratashvili, Çabuk’s lawyer, appealed against the Ministry’s decision in the Tbilisi City Court. The Court hearing on the case, according to preliminary information, will be held in October.