The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN J. HUGHES
This matter comes before the Court upon the Government's application for the detention of Mehmet Semih Sidali. Mr. Sidali has been named in a complaint, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3184, seeking his extradition from the United States to Turkey. He had been convicted in Turkey of raping and murdering a young girl. Through appointed counsel, Mr. Sidali seeks an order setting bail pending an extradition hearing. He claims that there exist special circumstances justifying his release and, in addition, that he poses no risk of flight or danger to the community. A hearing on the matter was conducted on November 18, 1994. A United States Magistrate Judge has jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3184 and D.N.J. Gen R. 40B(12).
In essence, the certification reveals that Mr. Sidali was originally found not guilty of the alleged crimes of rape and murder by a two to one vote of the panel of the local criminal court in Turkey. The matter was appealed and the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the decision and remanded the case back to the local court. The lower court reaffirmed its ruling, whereupon the case was again appealed. The case was reviewed by the General Boards of the Supreme Court of Appeals. Mr. Sidali was found guilty as charged by a vote of twenty-four of thirty-two judges. Under Turkish law, this decision is final. Mr. Sidali allegedly escaped before sentence was imposed. An absentia warrant was issued by Turkish authorities for Mr. Sidali's arrest on March 29, 1977. The offenses were alleged to have been committed in 1970.
On November 16, 1994, Mr. Sidali was arrested in Trenton, New Jersey, and brought before the Court at which time he was presented with the complaint, advised of various rights, and afforded the legal assistance of the Federal Public Defender.
Counsel for Mr. Sidali sought a continuance of the initial hearing in order to assemble certain information in an effort to demonstrate special circumstances to the Court which would justify release on bail pending a full extradition hearing. Mr. Sidali was remanded pending the continued hearing on November 18, 1994.
It has long been established that the laws relating to release on bail in domestic criminal cases do not apply to extradition proceedings. Wright v. Henkel, 190 U.S. 40, 61-62, 47 L. Ed. 948, 23 S. Ct. 781 (1903). It appears equally well established that there exists a presumption against bond in extradition cases and the individual will be released on bail only if he or she can prove "special circumstances". Martin v. Warden, Atlanta Pen, 993 F.2d 824, 827 (11th Cir. 1993); Koskotas v. Roche, 931 F.2d 169, 175 (1st Cir. 1991).
Although an accepted definition of "special circumstances" may be elusive, we know that certain conditions do not justify bail consideration. The need to consult extensively with an attorney over complex and important legal matters does not measure up to a "special circumstance". In re Russell, 805 F.2d 1215 (5th Cir. 1986). Similarly, demonstrated financial or emotional hardship for the individual or his family provides no relief. Id. Also, an unusually lengthy period of time between the issuance of a warrant and a request for extradition has been found not to offend due process and, thus, at least inferentially, can be said not to constitute a "special circumstance". Martin, supra, at 828. Even the lack of risk of flight, in itself, does not justify release. United States v. Williams, 611 F.2d 914 (1st Cir. 1979).
One court has held that the availability of bail in the country seeking extradition would constitute a "special circumstance." See, Matter of Extradition of Nacif-Borge, 829 F. Supp. 1210 (D. Nev. 1993). This proposition was subsequently rejected by another court. See, Matter of Extradition of Rouvier, 839 F. Supp. 537 (N.D. Ill. 1993). Here, the case is distinguishable from both Nacif-Borge and Rouvier as Mr. Sidali has already been convicted and because it is highly unlikely that he would receive bail in Turkey.
Similarly, the argument that a lack of criminal record coupled with a lengthy extradition process is unavailing to Mr. Sidali. (See, United States v. Taitz, 130 F.R.D. 442 (S.D. Cal. 1990), where the Court found certain collective factors constituted "special circumstances"). Here again, Mr. Sidali has already been convicted of rape and murder. In addition, there is no reason to believe, at this time, that the extradition process here will be overly extensive or long in duration. (See, e.g., Spatola v. United States, 741 F. Supp. 362 (E.D.N.Y. 1990), suggesting that certified copy of conviction established sufficient basis for order of extradition).
Risk of flight, along with danger to the community, are, of course, principal considerations under the Bail Reform Act (18 U.S.C. § 3141, et. seq.). In addition, there has been some commentary that risk of flight should be the basis for bail determinations in extradition proceedings. See, Martin, supra, at 827, fn.4, referring to Some Myths of United States Extradition Law, 76 Geo. L.J. 1441, 1449 ...