ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - A Czech court on Tuesday ruled to free the former Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim on bail after three days of detention in Prague, according to his lawyer, Miroslav Krutina.
Muslim was the co-leader of Democratic Union Party (PYD) from 2010 until 2017. Turkey has advertised a $1 million bounty for Muslim's arrest.
After the court freed Muslim, Turkish Ambassador to the Czech Republic expressed his country's concerns and said the court's ruling contradicts what Ankara and Prague agreed upon, regarding Muslim's extradition.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag was more direct, telling reporters that the decision was one that "supported terrorism."
“The court ruled Mr. Muslim will be released,” a spokeswoman for the Prague Municipal Court, Marketa Puci, said, adding the ruling had taken legal effect as both the state attorney and the defense gave up their rights to appeal.
The ruling, however, only orders Muslim released for the time being. The Turkish extradition request is still active, and additional court proceedings are expected, though what their exact nature would be is unclear.
“The court accepted a promise by Mr. Muslim that he will remain on EU territory and will be attending court hearings,” Prague Municipal Court spokeswoman Marketa Puci told reporters, adding that both state and defense attorneys had waived their right to appeal the decision.
Muslim was arrested by Czech police on Sunday in Prague's Marriott Hotel. His detention is believed to be at the request of Turkey.
Ankara views the PYD, and its military wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), and Women's Protection Units (YPJ), as a ‘terrorist’ group and an extension of the outlawed PKK, a group fighting a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish government in Turkey.
Editing by John J. Catherine