Swine on the Lam in Turkey Trapped by Foxy Pigs

by Roger Alford

Deniz Aydiner wins the honors for one of the dumbest murderers ever. He was indicted for aggravated murder in 2003 and while the investigation was pending he returned to Turkey. The state of Oregon subsequently indicted him and sought to impose the death penalty. But Aydiner missed his wife so much that he just had to return to the United States, the consequences be damned. He was denied reentry (because he had overstayed his welcome the last time), but persisted in his stupidity. This time law enforcement officers learned that he was seeking to return of his own volition and so they convinced the feds to allow him to reenter notwithstanding his ineligibility. The trap was set and Aydiner walked right into it. He was arrested at the Portland airport.

The United States authorities had never notified Turkey that it sought Aydiner for criminal prosecution. Nor did they ever request extradition pursuant to the extradition treaty between the United States and Turkey. Aydiner argued that the United States should have used the extradition process rather than tricking him to come to the United States voluntarily. It is undisputed that Turkey would not have extradited defendant to be prosecuted for a capital offense. Here is how the Oregon Court of Appeals in State v. Aydiner dismissed the argument:

We begin with defendant’s assertion that the extradition treaty between the United States and Turkey provides the exclusive means by which the state could secure his presence for criminal prosecution…. [T]he signatories to the treaty did not intend the extradition process to be exclusive.… The treaty … contains no express prohibition against obtaining a person’s presence by any other means, including trickery or deceit. To the extent that defendant urges us to read into the treaty such an implied prohibition, we reject that contention as well. Given that the United States Supreme Court declined to read a prohibition on forcible kidnapping into a similarly-worded extradition treaty in Alvarez-Machain-and concluded that general principles of international law did not require such a prohibition to be implied-we do not understand how a different result could obtain relating to much less intrusive governmental conduct.

This makes perfect sense to me. The moral of the story is any swine who is dumb as a mule and commits inhuman acts should assume that when on the lam in Turkey the pigs will try to outfox you.


4 Responses

  1. But see Sosa v.  Alvarez-Machain.  There the Supreme Court used similar reasoning to uphold the forcible abduction of a Mexican national suspected of murder in the face of the US-Mexico extradition treaty.   While there certainly isn’t the level of dispicablility in the case at issue, such reasoning leads to bad results when abused.

  2. Sounds like the correct decision to me.  Although, if I recall, the courts have upheld extraordinary rendition, so had he been stuffed in a trunk and flown to the US, it probably would have ended the same way.

  3. I didn’t realise that extradition was ever considered an exclusive code. I always thought that it only mattered when someone was in custody or control of a third country, and people used it more broadly because we aren’t really ‘geared up’ to kidnap people overseas (and because if we started doing that regularly, we might not end up in a good position vis-à-vis other countries).

    But I never thought that arrest was territorial – afaik it just won’t be a defense to the crime of assault in most foreign jurisdictions (although there may be other defences) – but that only matters if the foreign jurisdiction catches you.

  4. That is one funny motherflipping title.

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