Turkish court merely fines Somali president's son for fatal car crash

A Turkish court has sentenced Somali president's son Mohamud to two years and six months in prison over the death of the motor courier in an accident. The court then converted the sentence into a fine of 27,300 Turkish liras ($906).

Reuters - Duvar English

The son of Somalia's president was sentenced by a Turkish court on Jan. 16 to 2-1/2 years in prison for causing death by negligence, which was converted into a fine of 27,300 Turkish liras ($906), state media reported.

Mohamed Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was driving a car carrying a diplomatic licence plate on Nov. 30 when he hit a motorcycle courier in central Istanbul, seriously injuring him.

The sentence stirred a huge reaction on social media, as some users said killing a Turkish citizen was now worth 900 dollars.

Mohamud had left the country on Dec. 2, following a police interrogation. An arrest warrant was issued for him after the courier died in hospital on Dec. 6.

Mohamud was tried in absentia in Istanbul on Jan. 16, having been back to Turkey to appear before the court last week. He had denied negligence, saying the motorbike had stopped suddenly and he could not avoid the collision.

The prosecutor had sought up to six years in prison for Mohamud. Converting prison sentences to fines happens periodically in the Turkish judicial system. His driving licence in Turkey was revoked for six months.

What happened?

The Nov. 30 traffic accident in Istanbul resulted in motor courier Göçer heavily injured, whereas the police released the then-unidentified driver after taking a statement. Göçer died six days after the accident.

It was later revealed the driver was the Somalian President’s son Mohamud, who was driving a vehicle belonging to the Somali Consulate.

An expert’s report denied the claims made by Mohamud during his police statement and found him the primary negligent party in the accident. 

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), revealed the footage of the accident on Dec. 7 and said they would follow the legal process to the end.

Only after the footage, a Turkish court issued an international travel ban for Mohamud on Dec. 7.