Austria accepts Turkey's extradition request for shady business tycoon Korkmaz

An Austrian court has accepted Turkey's request to extradite shady business tycoon Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, his lawyer said on Aug. 30. The Austrian authorities will also evaluate the U.S.' request for extradition, and then give its final decision accordingly, the lawyer said. Both Turkey and the United States are in a fight for the businessman's extradition.

Shady businessman Sezgin Baran Korkmaz is seen pictured together President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in this file photo.

Duvar English 

An Austrian court has accepted Turkey's request to extradite shady business tycoon Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, his lawyer Murat Volkan Dülger said on Aug. 30. 

Turkey and the United States are in a fight for the extradition of Korkmaz, who is being investigated for money laundering charges. 

Lawyer Dülger said in his statement on Twitter that Austria will decide whether to extradite Korkmaz to Turkey or not after also evaluating the U.S.' request. 

The lawyer said that if the Austrian court rejects the U.S.' request for Korkmaz's extradition, then the businessman will be sent to Turkey. 

"Wels court decided on Aug. 25 for my client to be extradited to Turkey. The evaluation of the extradition request by the United States is still ongoing. As per the decision of the court and the final decision maker Austrian Justice Ministry, it might be possible for the client to come to Turkey," the lawyer said. 

Korkmaz was detained in June in a town about 260 km from Vienna and both Turkey and the United States had initiated an extradition process with Austrian authorities.

In December, authorities detained 10 executives working at Korkmaz's companies, after Turkey's Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) said the companies were used for money laundering. 

The United States accuses Korkmaz of laundering more than $133 million in tax fraud proceeds through a network of businesses he controls in Turkey. Prosecutors in Turkey want him in connection with the same alleged scheme. 

Convicted Turkish crime boss Sedat Peker previously accused Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu of tipping off Korkmaz to the criminal investigation against him. Peker made the claim as a part of a series of widely viewed YouTube videos recorded from a hotel room in Dubai in which he has made unverified allegations of corruption against top Turkish officials.