• Austria's news in English

Italy releases accused Austrian 'terrorist'

The Local · 16 Apr 2015, 16:47

Published: 16 Apr 2015 16:47 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Ünal E., 45, had been arrested in early April by Italian police whilst holidaying with his Austrian wife in the Mestre suburb of Venice. He is accused by Turkey of being a member of the banned left-wing organisation DHKP-C and of recruiting terrorists for a 1995 attack in a bank in the capital Ankara.
Ünal, a doctor, has been an Austrian citizen for ten years, first moving to the country in 2000 and receiving asylum status in 2002 after an Austrian asylum court ruled that he was being politically persecuted in Turkey at the time.
His release was secured after Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz spoke with Italian authorities about the case during a recent trip to the capital Rome. 
"Political contacts at the highest level between Rome and Vienna have enabled the release of my client. That's more a diplomatic than a legal success," said the lawyer representing Ünal, Nicola Canestrini.
Ünal has now returned to his home in Tyrol, and is hoping to immediately resume working at his medical practice there.
The investigation into the terrorism charges will continue in Italy, where a court in Venice will rule in May over extraditing Ünal. If they decide he should be extradited, he would be at risk of being arrested if he were to return to Italy, although Canestrini confirmed that they would consider applying for refugee status in Italy.
Story continues below…
Ünal is not named on any Austrian wanted lists and the spokesman for the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Martin Weiss, said: "Austria extradites, on principle, no Austrians.”
According to his lawyer, Ünal was remanded in custody in Turkey between 1995 and 1999 where he was physically and mentally tortured. He fled to Austria after being convicted and sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available