Dutch man 'forgotten' in Turkish jail

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A 21-year-old Dutchman has been awaiting extradition to the Netherlands for nearly three years, in a Turkish jail. The Turkish government are not coming to a decision, stated the man and his lawyer in a letter to Turkish media.The Iraqi-Dutch Jamal Sahami was arrested at the airport in Istanbul in February 2011, according to Turkish newspapers. He was 19 years old at the time. Sahami was wanted in The Netherlands for armed robbery and credit card fraud at the age of 17. A month after the arrest, a judge in Istanbul ruled Sahami could be extradited. Since August 2011 the Turkish Ministry of Justice were furnished with the necessary documentation.  However, 27 months later now, they are still awaiting a decision, state Sahami and his lawyer.

Stephen Z
Wikimedia commons

Netherlands indeed requested the extradition of the man, reported a spokesperson for the Ministry of Security and Justice. Because it took so long, Turkey was reminded several times of the request.

The Netherlands recently decided to withdraw the request, because Sahami has now been in custody, pending extradition, longer than any punishment would be if he were to be found guilty. The Dutch Ministry of Justice expects Sahami to be released soon.

Sahami wants to return to The Netherlands. He points out he was a minor when he broke the law and thinks he probably would have gotten a short sentence. He claims he was not running from the law, but was returning to his country, according to the letter.