Biden: US Will Listen to 'Every Scrap of Evidence' in Gulen Extradition Request
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says the White House is determined to listen to "every scrap of evidence" Turkey provides before deciding if it will extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen lives in the eastern state of Pennsylvania, and Turkey is demanding his immediate extradition, accusing him of organizing last month's failed military coup -- a charge he denies.
Biden met in Ankara Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He tried to head off Erdogan's impatience by explaining that American courts require firm evidence before a suspect is surrendered to another country.
"You can't go into the court and say, 'This is a bad guy'... you have to say 'this is a guy or woman who committed the following explicit crime,'" Biden said.
He said prosecutors need to show a judge probable cause, and that sometimes courts move slowly. Biden noted that President Barack Obama could be impeached if he orders a foreign national extradited without a proper hearing.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said any delay in sending Gulen back to Turkey could harm U.S.-Turkish relations.
Biden said he understands Turkey's anger, and said the U.S. has no interest in protecting anyone who has done anything to hurt one of its allies.
Turkey has arrested or fired 80,000 government workers, judges and academics it believes are Gulen supporters or were involved in the coup attempt launched by a group of renegade military officers.
At Least 10 Dead, 30 Wounded as Afghanistan University Attack Ends
Afghanistan police say at least 10 people are dead and more than 37 wounded after a nearly 10-hour long attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul ended Thursday.
The dead include seven students, two police officers and a security guard. A foreign teacher was among the injured, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. More than 700 staff and students were rescued after being trapped inside the university complex, Kabul Police Chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi added.
The attack began with an explosion around 6:30 pm Wednesday local time and set off about an hour of gunfire as security forces responded. Officials described the assault as a "complex attack." Police officials said at least two attackers had been killed.
One student trapped on campus told Reuters news agency by phone that he was holed up inside a classroom with some other people. He said they were hearing bursts of gunfire outside.
A student who escaped, Massoud Hossaini, told the Associated Press that he, too, had been trapped with some other students in a classroom, where they barricaded themselves inside by pushing chairs and desks against the door. He said they eventually managed to escape through the university's northern emergency gate.
There are no claims of responsibility from militant groups. The U.S. State Department condemned the violence and called it an "attack on the future of Afghanistan."