After spending about a month in a Turkish prison, the 26-year-old man suspected of carrying out the attempted assassination of anti-Islam author Lars Hedegaard has revealed his identity and said he wants to be extradited to Denmark, according to his Danish lawyer, Thorkild Høyer.
The man, who is of Lebanese descent, denied he was who the police say he was and said he had never been to Denmark when he was arrested at an airport in Istanbul on April 25.
“I received a fax from him admitting who he was and that he wanted to be extradited,” Høyer told TV2 News. “I haven’t had an opportunity to speak to him yet. In Turkey you can only visit every six months if you are a foreign lawyer.”
Extradition could drag on
The city police have been conducting an investigation into the assassination attempt on Hedegaard since an unknown man impersonated a postman and tried to shoot the Islam critic in the head on 5 February 2013. He missed and then the gun jammed during a struggle, preventing further shots, before the assailant fled on foot.
Danish police have yet to interview the man, who has been visited by the Danish consulate in Turkey, and have not received DNA from the man. The police are not sure if the case will be drawn out because the man was arrested with a false passport and will be tried on charges of fraud by the Turkish authorities.
But Høyer contends that an extradition shouldn’t take long and that the Turkish authorities will probably just give him a fine. The lawyer said that because he had not spoken with the man, he did not know how he would plead in terms of the Hedegaard assassination attempt.