Brazil denies extradition of opponent sought by Turkey's Erdogan

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BRASILIA, April 5 (Reuters) - Brazil's Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an extradition request by Turkey for an opponent of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and member of the Hizmet organization of cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Businessman Yakup Sagar, 54, moved to Brazil with his family in 2016 and received refugee status. He owns a shirt factory in Sao Paulo.

A top court chamber of five justices voted unanimously to deny his extradition, saying the Turkish request did not fulfill the requirements. The request alleged that Sagar was wanted for trying to destroy the Turkish state.

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Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who handled the case, said the request had no facts to back it up, adding: "It is certain that there is no possibility of an absolutely impartial trial if extradition is granted."

Ankara declared Hizmet a terrorist group in May 2016. The movement says it has millions of followers worldwide.

Sagar is the second Erdogan opponent Brazil has refused to extradite.

In 2019, the Supreme Court denied a request to extradite Ali Sipahi, a Turkish citizen and naturalized Brazilian who owns a restaurant in Sao Paulo. Sipahi was arrested and later set free when the court rejected the request.

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Reporting by Ricardo Brito, writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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