9th May, 2023

Day 2 – Supreme Court Hearing

Before Supreme Court Judges Katerina Stamatiou, Haris Malachtou and Ioannis Ioannidis, Kurdish Kenan Ayas for the hearing of his appeal against the first instance decision of the Larnaca District Court to extradite him to Germany.

The proceedings lasted about two hours and included the arguments of both parties. The prosecution insists on its position of (the un-proven) recognition of the “terrorist activity” of Kenan Ayas, with the sole justification of the German warrants that mention his participation in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Before the judges of the Supreme Court, the terms of the first instance judgment were raised concerning the guarantees requested from Germany to avoid his extradition to Turkey, for which there is no commitment from the German authorities.

In his own intervention, the appellant’s lawyer Efstathios Efstathiou presented the reasons why the Supreme Court should not execute the European arrest warrant in order not to extradite Kenan Ayas on the basis of his political beliefs. He noted that the Kurdish political refugee did not receive a fair trial in the Larnaca District Court. At the same time, he referred to an oxymoron regarding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is recognized as a “terrorist organization” in the German penal code but not in the Cypriot one, and this should be clarified. A person cannot be protected as a political refugee and extradited as a so-called ‘terrorist’. The Republic of Cyprus must finally decide whether or not the PKK is a terrorist organization, regardless of European lists, so that this inconsistency is no longer observed, Mr. Efstathiou said.

Inside the Court, Mr. Efstathiou stressed that the District Court was not concerned at all with the fact that the appellant is a person who was granted asylum status and was satisfied with the decision of the German authorities that the accused is a member of the PKK, which has not been proven, as it did not have before it nor did it request a more detailed and satisfactory description of the alleged acts of Kenan Ayas.

The decision of the Supreme Court was reserved, even though the 60-day deadline of 16 May after his arrest, given by the German authorities to authorise his extradition, expires on 16 May.