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Sweden court convicts man of helping Kurdish militants in boost for Sweden's NATO bid

July 7, 2023 at 7:54 pm

Swedish court [Zeke530/Wikipedia]

A Swedish court, on Thursday, found a man guilty of attempting to finance the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), in a ruling that could help end Turkiye’s veto of Sweden’s application to join the NATO military alliance, Reuters reports.

According to the report, the Stockholm District Court sentenced Yahya Gungor, a 41-year-old Turkish Kurd, to four years and six months in prison for gun crime, attempted extortion and attempted funding of terrorism, the verdict showed.

Judge Mans Wigen said Gungor had tried to pressure a Kurdish businessman in Stockholm at gunpoint to pay money to the PKK, the report says.

“The blackmail attempt has taken place within the framework of an extensive fundraising activity that the PKK conducts in Europe, i.e. through extortion,” Wigen said in a statement.

Ankara accuses Sweden of harbouring members of militant groups on its territory and says it must crack down on them before it can join NATO. The PKK, deemed a terrorist group by Turkiye, the European Union – to which Sweden belongs – and the United States, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984.

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