Turk convict sent home to serve time Human smuggler repatriated in reciprocal agreement with Ankara
A Turkish man convicted by a Chinese court of plotting to illegally smuggle Chinese nationals across the border and sentenced to prison was transferred to Turkey to serve his time, the Ministry of Justice said on Friday.
“This is the first successful cooperation between China and Turkey on transferring a convicted Turkish criminal home to serve his sentence,” said Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the ministry’s Judicial Assistance and Foreign Affairs Department.
The transfer reflects the Chinese government’s “respect for human rights and other legitimate rights of a foreign convict, and that China is willing to promote cooperation between judicial authorities in both counties,” Zhang said.
In March 2016, the Turkish man was convicted of arranging to smuggle people across the Chinese border. The Shanghai High People’s Court sentenced him to six years in prison, a 60,000 yuan ($8,860) fine and deportation from China, the ministry said.
In November 2014, the Turkish gang he led arranged to illegally take eight people from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region over the border and help them to obtain fake Turkish passports to enter Turkey.
In November, Shanghai police arrested the Turkish ringleader and eight Chinese waiting to depart from a Shanghai hotel. The eight Chinese will face trial in a separate case.
In November 2016, Turkey’s Ministry of Justice requested the man’s repatriation to continue serving his sentence in his native country.
China’s Justice Ministry approved that request in Janu-
This is the first successful cooperation between China and Turkey on transferring a convicted Turkish criminal home.” Zhang Xiaoming of China’s Ministry of Justice
ary in view of the friendly relations between the two countries and an informal agreement that Turkey and China would respect each other’s criminal court rulings.
Since the 1990s, China has signed treaties on the transfer of convicted criminals with 14 countries and regions, including Australia, Russia and Spain, and it has handed over more than 90 foreign convicts, according to the ministry.
“Transferring foreign convicts to their native countries to complete their sentences is not only beneficial to them, but also helps enhance judicial cooperation between China and the countries concerned,” Zhang said.
Repatriated convicts are more familiar with the environment, culture and judicial systems of their countries, which is more conducive to their welfare and will lead to a better rehabilitation, said Li Li, a lawyer from All China Lawyers Association.
On Friday night, Chinese law enforcement officers handed the suspect over late on Friday night, and he was escorted to a Turkish civil flight for repatriation.