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Italy releases PKK leader on probation

A court in the Italian city of Venice has released a senior member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on probation.

The 58-year-old Nizamettin Toguc was set free on Saturday until the judges reach a verdict on Turkey’s demand for extradition. He will have to live in a small town outside Italy’s northern city of Padova and report to the local police until the court arrives at a verdict, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The Italian secret police apprehended Toguc, who is the leader of a federation of Kurdish associations in Europe, in Venice on July 18 and incarcerated him in a prison in Padova until his release.

The senior PKK operative attended the third session of his trial on Friday. In the hearing, an Italian prosecutor and Toguc’s lawyers requested that he be released on probation while the court examined Turkey’s extradition request.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community, including Turkey, Iran, the United States, and European Union member states.

Over 40,000 people have lost their lives since the PKK launched its armed campaign against Ankara in 1984.

The PKK militants launch their attacks from Iraq’s Qandil Mountains in the areas under the control of Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani. Israel and Israeli firms also operate in the Qandil mountain range.

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