Somali president’s son flees Turkey after deadly crash

President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud makes a statement during a state visit in Ankara, Turkiye on July 05, 2022. PHOTO | AFP

The son of Somalia’s president, alleged to have knocked and killed a delivery rider in Istanbul, has fled Turkey despite an international arrest warrant, media reported Saturday.

Police had released Mohammed Hassan Sheikh Mohamud without any bail conditions after preliminary investigations into the accident, said daily newspaper Cumhuriyet.

“The suspect left Turkey freely,” said Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday.

The mayor, a leading opponent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — accused the authorities of “allowing this escape” and being “incapable of defending citizens’ rights in their own country”.

The son of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had collided with a motorbike delivery man on November 30, according to a police report quoted by A Haber television.

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Father of two children, Yunus Emre Gocer, died in hospital six days later.

The republic’s prosecutor issued an international arrest warrant on Friday after police went to the suspect’s home only to find “he had been gone since December 2”, the channel said.

The dead man’s lawyer told Cumhuriyet that a first traffic police report into the crash had blamed the victim for “negligence”.

A second expert’s report with video recordings showed that the Somali suspect was “100 percent responsible”, the lawyer said, but it added doubts he would “ever be caught”.

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Turkey has had close relations with Somalia for the last 10 years and is the Horn of Africa nation’s leading economic partner, notably in the  construction, education and health sectors as well as in military cooperation.

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