A diplomat from the United States Consulate in Beirut, who was detained at Istanbul Airport on the grounds that he issued a fake passport to a Syrian national who was trying to go abroad in exchange for $10,000, was arrested, reports said Wednesday.
In a written statement from the Istanbul Police Department, it was reported that on Nov. 11, 2021, at around 5 p.m., it was determined that Syrian national R.S., who wanted to go to Germany from Istanbul Airport with a fake passport, tried to go abroad with another person's passport during the checks at the passport point.
Following an investigation, it was determined that the passport that R.S. used while trying to escape belonged to D.J.K., a diplomat at the U.S. Consulate in Beirut. During the examination of the camera footage, it was noted that the two suspects met in the airport and changed their clothes there and R.S. then received the passport from the American diplomat D.J.K.
In the statement, it was stated that both suspects were taken into custody, and the following information was shared: "During the body search, $10,000 and a diplomatic passport of his own name were found in the envelope from the American citizen D.J.K. Syrian national R.S., who was found trying to exit the country by using fake passports, was one of the persons referred to the judicial authorities. He was released on charges of 'forgery of official documents.' The person named D. J. K., an American citizen, was arrested and handed over to prison."
Foreign diplomats customarily have immunity from prosecution, but they are subject to prosecution and punishment in countries where they are not accredited. That principle seems to apply to the U.S. diplomat in custody, who was accredited in Lebanon, not Turkey.
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