A fugitive suspect or accused is a person who is hiding in the country or is in a foreign country in order to ensure that the investigation or prosecution against them is inconclusive and therefore cannot be reached by the public prosecutor or court.

The fugitive suspect can be investigated and a public case can be opened. The fugitive suspect may also be prosecuted. However, a fugitive suspect cannot be convicted if they have not been interrogated before.


Conditions for an Fugitive Status Decision


The decision on fugitive status may be made by the prosecutor's office conducting the investigation on the suspect during the investigation phase, and by the court where the criminal case is opened on the suspect during the prosecution phase.


The suspect or accused cannot be reached:

The suspect or accused must consciously act with the intent to frustrate the investigation or prosecution of which they are aware.

The suspect or accused who intends to frustrate the investigation or prosecution must hide in the country or be in a foreign country.

The court must not be able to reach the suspect or accused because they are in hiding or prevent the court from reaching them.


Offenses for which a fugitive warrant can be issued:

A fugitive warrant can be issued for certain crimes; a fugitive warrant cannot be issued for every crime. A fugitive warrant may be issued for catalog crimes allegedly committed by the suspect or defendant.


Investigation or Prosecution Must Have Begun:

In order to issue a fugitive warrant, an investigation must have been initiated against the suspect and prosecution must have been initiated against the suspect.


Failure to Comply with Notification and Forcible Detention Order:

The prosecutor's office or the court sends a proper notification in order to receive the defense of the suspect or the defendant. In accordance with the Law on Notification, a compulsory summons is issued for the suspect who fails to appear before the prosecutor's office or the court despite a proper notification. In case of failure to fulfill the notification and the compulsory appearance order, the final stage of issuing an announcement is initiated in order to issue a fugitive warrant.


Announcement about the Fugitive:

If the suspect or defendant cannot be brought before the public prosecutor's office or the court even through notification or compulsory appearance, the public prosecutor or the court shall make an announcement to the fugitive in order to issue a fugitive warrant.


This is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.  If you want to contact an English-speaking criminal lawyer in Istanbul for more information you can contact our office.