Sweden on Thursday sentenced a Turk of Kurdish origin to four and a half years in prison for “attempted terrorist financing” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and “extortion”. An unprecedented conviction, the result of a tightening of Swedish anti-terror legislation that came into force in July 2022.
A Turk of Kurdish origin was sentenced to four and a half years in prison in Sweden on Thursday 6 July for “attempted terrorist financing” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and “extortion”, a first in this Scandinavian country. waiting for the green light from Turkey to join NATO.
The 40-year-old tried with a weapon to force a Kurdish businessman in Stockholm to pay money to the PKK, says judge Måns Wigén in a statement. “The extortion attempt took place within the framework of a large fundraising program carried out by the PKK in Europe,” he added.
The convict was arrested in January after making threats and firing a gun outside a restaurant in Stockholm.
The court says the man’s purpose was to wreak havoc and use the funds to finance the PKK, classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, but also by Sweden, the EU and the US.
Tougher anti-terror legislation
The court also sentenced him to deportation with a ban on returning to Swedish territory once his sentence is served.
Contacted by AFP, his lawyer Ilhan Aydin said his client will appeal the court’s decision. “He is disappointed and we do not share the court’s verdict regarding the financing of terrorism and the attempted extortion,” he said.
This sentence is the consequence of a tightening of the Swedish anti-terror legislation that came into force in July 2022, which makes it possible to facilitate the prosecution in cases of terrorist financing in particular.
It is the first time that the new law, which has already been used in cases linked to the jihadist organization Islamic State, has been applied to a PKK sympathizer.
Stuck at NATO’s gates, Sweden is waiting for the green light from Turkey and Hungary to become a member of the Alliance. Ankara criticizes Sweden for its alleged leniency towards Kurdish militants who have taken refuge in the Scandinavian country and is calling for the extradition of dozens of militants whom Turkish authorities label as “terrorists”.