Turk con­vict sent home to serve time Hu­man smug­gler repa­tri­ated in re­cip­ro­cal agree­ment with Ankara

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG YAN zhangyan1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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