Turkey says Belgium must find, extradite wanted leftist militant

Turkey's foreign minister on Thursday demanded that Belgium find and extradite a Turkish militant who escaped while under house arrest and heavy police surveillance.

A Belgian court on Tuesday convicted Fehriye Erdal of belonging to a terrorist group and sentenced her to four years in prison. But when police went to formally arrest her, she was missing.

"We want her extradition," Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said. "We expect her to be found and handed over to Turkey."

Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht of Belgium called Gul later Thursday and assured him that police were trying to find Erdal and that she would be captured soon, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

Erdal is wanted in Turkey for her alleged role in the killing of a prominent industrialist. A court in Bruges, Belgium, found Erdal guilty of membership in DHKP-C, an outlawed leftist group that aims to topple the Turkish government and replace it with a Marxist one.

Belgian Interior Minister Patrick Dewael and Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx on Thursday ordered an investigation into Erdal's disappearance. Onkelinx said Erdal was under the surveillance of three eight-member teams of agents when she escaped. Another eight-member team with four cars was on standby in case Erdal tried to flee.

"Still, she disappeared," Onkelinx said, reports AP.


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