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Matiang’i, Kinoti and Mutyambai summoned to court on Monday over missing Turk

NATIONAL
By Kamore Maina | May 8th 2021

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang'i. [File, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, DCI boss George Kinoti and Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai have been summoned to court to explain the whereabouts of a Turkish national, who was allegedly abducted in Nairobi last Monday, May 3.

Kiambu High Court judge, Mary Kasango, wants the three, on Monday, May 10, to reveal the whereabouts of Selahaddin Gulen, a nephew of a top Opposition leader in Turkey Fethullah Gulen.

Rachier & Amollo Advocates, the lawyers of the missing man, had applied to have the three security bosses summoned to explain the whereabouts of their client.

Selahaddin is reported to have been abducted while on his way to DCI headquarters, Kiambu Road, where he was seeking the assistance of Interpol to help clear his name over allegations of involvement in crime in Turkey.

Selahaddin is a nephew of Fethullah, who inspired the Gulen movement, which is known as Hizmet (or service) in Turkey, and runs educational institutions across the world, including Kenya through the Light Academy schools.

However, after a bloody attempted coup in July 2016, President Recep Erdogan accused Fethullah, who inspired the Gulen movement, of being behind the bid to oust him from power.

Erdogan began a crackdown on Fethullah's followers, who are suspected to run in the millions and hold powerful positions in the military, judiciary and even the ruling party.

After the July 15 uprising when a section of the Turkish military launched a co-ordinated operation in several major cities to topple the government, Erdogan sought the extradition of the cleric from the US, where he has been living since 1999. These attempts have failed.

After the 2016 failed coup, which left at least 240 people dead and more than 2,000 others injured, the Erdogan administration launched a worldwide hunt for people affiliated to the Gulen movement.

Hundreds of people, among them civil servants and military officials, have been jailed for life over the attempted coup.

On Monday, May 3, Gullen’s nephew Selahaddin was arrested in similar fashion to the dramatic 1999 security operation in Nairobi that led to the arrest of Abdullah Ocalan, a wanted man by the Turkish government.

Ocalan was one of the founding members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a militant organisation founded in Turkey in 1978 to fight for the rights of minority workers.

PKK was listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkish government, the US and the Europen Union, putting Ocalan on the international list of most wanted men.

The arrest of Selahaddin was executed in almost similar fashion. At around 9am on Monday, Selahaddin, who arrived in the country on October 17 last year on a tourist visa from the US, had planned a meeting with officials from Interpol offices in Nairobi.

His mission, according to his lawyers, was to impress on Interpol to clear his name from the list of wanted men.

He had been listed by Turkey on allegations that he was wanted for an offence that he committed back home in 2008.

Selahaddin has been battling the Turkish government's attempts to get him to Turkey.

He took the fight to the Kiambu chief magistrate's court where he fought off attempts by the Director of Pubic Prosecutions to extradite him.

In his court documents filed in Kiambu on January 28 this year, Selahaddin asked the court to block his extradition until the case challenging his expulsion is heard and determined.

In an affidavit filed before the court, Selahaddin raised 42 points why the Kenyan government could not deport him. He attributed his intended extradition to the 2016 attempted coup and the subsequent crackdown by the Turkish government on people perceived to be affiliated to the Gulen movement.

“That the real motive behind the issuance of the Red notice is that, in 2016 (when I lived in the US) there was a failed coup attempt in Turkey. It is suspected that one Fethulla Gulen (my uncle) may have supported the coup.

“The Turkish authorities therefore opened a crackdown on all persons who were directly or indirectly related to the said Fethullah Gulen. All his relatives who were physically present in Turkey were arrested on fictitious criminal charges and are presently serving long prisons sentence in Turkey,” Selahaddin told the court.

The proceedings were, however, stopped by the High Court in Kiambu where Selahaddin sought further orders to stop his extradition.

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