Prosecution requests court to remand Turkish-born US citizen Kemal Oksuz in custody pending further proceedings
YEREVAN, AUGUST 31, ARMENPRESS. The Prosecutor General’s office of Armenia has filed a motion to a court to remand into custody Kevin (Kemal) Oksuz, the Turkish-born American citizen who was arrested by Yerevan police after being declared internationally wanted by the United States, the Prosecutor General’s office told ARMENPRESS.
Police spokesperson Ashot Aharonyan told ARMENPRESS that the arrested suspect is still in Armenia. Aharonyan did not disclose any other details.
Details over an extradition or any other procedure were not immediately clear.
Officers of the anti-organized crime department, in cooperation with agents from the national Interpol office of Armenia, apprehended on August 29 Turkish-born American citizen Kevin (Kemal) Oksuz, who was declared internationally wanted by the United States.
According to an earlier statement from the Armenian police, the fugitive had established a business in Armenia.
The man was declared wanted by the US on August 23 on 4 counts of fraud – namely submitting falsified documentation to the ethics committee of the US House of Representatives.
Police said in an August 30 statement that the man was under law enforcement radars since the very first day of being declared wanted, and the Armenian Police Chief personally supervised the operations.
Oksuz chaired a non-profit NGO of Turkish-Americans and Eurasians. The goal of the NGO was to bring together Turks and Americans by organizing trips to Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Back in 2013, Oksuz invited several US Congressmen, along with others, on a journey to Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Private trips of US Congressmen are regulated by the ethics committee as required by law, and sponsors of the trips are required to fill in relevant paperwork regarding sources of funds and spending.
Oksuz is suspected in falsifying the documents by submitting paperwork suggesting that his organization did not receive funds from any source, neither directly nor indirectly.
But turns out the NGO did not cover the entire spending and it did in fact receive funding, including from the Azerbaijani state-owned SOCAR oil company.
It also turned out that nine US Congressmen and 32 staff members received valuable gifts worth thousands of dollars.
Kemal Oksuz, who had changed his name to Kevin after acquiring US citizenship, has been placed under arrest.
During the interrogation by Yerevan police, the fugitive said: “The Armenian Diaspora is powerful and it is doing a very good job. The Azerbaijani Diaspora is nothing. They only waste money on lobbying, but they fail to achieve anything. When a resolution on recognizing the Armenian Genocide reached the US Congress, the Turks begin working against it. They call and organize meetings. I too have done a similar thing, because I didn’t believe [in the genocide]”.
Many Turkish newspapers reported that the man is the brother of Adil Oksuz, one of the associates of Fethullah Gulen, the Islamic preacher who is accused by Turkey for masterminding the 2016 coup attempt. However this information was later denied. According to Diken, a Turkish online newspaper, local police have said that Kemal Oksuz is not related to Adil Oksuz, the man who is considered to be one of the masterminds of the coup attempt. Nevertheless, Turkish police confirmed that a man of the same name – Kemal Oksuz – is wanted on charges of being a Gulenist – a movement outlawed in Turkey.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan