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US greenlights extradition of Turkish suspect in fatal Istanbul hit-and-run

US greenlights extradition of Turkish suspect in fatal Istanbul hit-and-run US State Department approves the extradition of Eylem Tok to Türkiye, NYC, US, June 27, 2024. (AA Photo)
By Anadolu Agency
Jun 28, 2024 9:47 AM

The U.S. State Department has determined that new information provided by Türkiye regarding a suspect connected to a hit-and-run accident in Istanbul, Eylem Tok, is sufficient for her extradition, according to a letter released this week.

Dated Tuesday and written by Tom Heinemann, an attorney advisor with the State Department, the letter was addressed to Kristen Kearney, assistant United States attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

“Based on new information informally received from the Government of Türkiye, the State Department has determined that both offenses for which Türkiye originally requested Eylem Tok’s extradition meet the relevant requirements under the applicable extradition treaty between the United States and Türkiye,” Heinemann stated in the letter.

Initially, the department assessed that only the charge of protecting an offender should be forwarded to the court for consideration. “However, the new information provided by Türkiye in support of its request is sufficient for the Department to forward the offense of destroying, concealing, or altering evidence to the court for consideration as well,” the letter noted.

“Accordingly, after Türkiye formally submits the new information to the Department through diplomatic channels, as required by the treaty, I anticipate signing a new declaration in this case, making clear that the Department believes both offenses in the original Turkish request are extraditable under the treaty,” Heinemann added.

The hearing of Tok in Boston has reportedly been adjourned for a second time to July 1.

On June 14, Tok and her son Timur Cihantimur were arrested by U.S. authorities at Türkiye’s request and appeared in a Boston court a few days later. Türkiye requested Tok’s extradition on charges of “harboring or concealing persons.”

On March 1, three all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) were traveling in Istanbul’s Eyupsultan district when one broke down. Cihantimur, driving his parents’ SUV without a license, crashed into the three ATVs, injuring five people. One of them, Oguz Murat Aci, later succumbed to his injuries. Cihantimur fled the scene with his mother in her vehicle and traveled to Egypt and then to the U.S.

Temporary arrest request documents for their extradition were forwarded to U.S. authorities by Türkiye’s Justice Ministry.

Last Updated:  Jul 9, 2024 1:37 AM