Turkey says Somalia leader’s son to participate in fatal car accident trial

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said on Thursday he expected the son of Somalia’s president to return to Turkey in coming days to participate in a court case over a fatal car accident involving his use of a diplomatic car.

Mohamed Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud was driving a Somali consulate car on Nov. 30 when he hit a motorcycle courier in central Istanbul, seriously injuring him. He left the country on Dec. 2, following police interrogation. An arrest warrant was issued for him after the courier died in hospital on Dec. 6.

Tunc told reporters in Ankara that he discussed the incident with his Somali counterpart, and that Somali authorities were approaching the matter “with good intentions”.

“We held meetings with the Somali judicial authorities. In the coming days, the defendant will come to Turkey and the trial process will take place,” Tunc said, adding he hoped the trial would begin soon.

A Turkish official told Reuters this week that Ankara, which has good ties with Somalia, had sought information from Somali authorities on the issue and the use of a diplomatic car.

Somali officials have not commented on the issue.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)