ANKARA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Monday that his government believes Iraq's fugitive vice president, who was sentenced to death on terror charges in absentia, will not return to his home country.
Arinc made the remarks when asked if Turkey is considering extraditing Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, to whom Turkey has given asylum based on that his case is political rather than a legal one.
Hashemi said here at a press conference on Monday that the ruling of the Iraqi court is null and void in his own view, stressing that the court decision is politically motivated.
Hashemi said he is ready to stand trial in a fair court but not in Iraqi courts, which he claimed are under the influence of his rival, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
On Sunday, Baghdad's criminal court convicted Hashemi and his son-in-law Ahmed Qahtan of organizing the murders of a Shiite security official and a lawyer who had refused to help the vice president's allies in terror cases. In a third case, the two defendants were acquitted of the killing of a security officer due to a lack of evidence.
Turkey's support for Hashemi is expected to further strain ties between the two neighbors, which are already at odds over oil deals.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Maliki have publicly traded accusations several times this year. Erdogan accused Maliki of fanning sectarian divisions in Iraq and Maliki accused Turkey of meddling in Iraq's domestic affairs.