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October 9, 2015

DOD Bribe Suspect Caught in Soup Shop First to Be Extradited From Iraq Under 1936 Pact

An ex-Defense Department contractor who is back on U.S. soil to face criminal charges six years after fleeing the country is the first person extradited from Iraq under a 1936 pact. The man had been on Interpol’s “most wanted” list.

The Department of Justice says Metin Atilan, a dual U.S. and Turkish citizen, is slated to appear in an Ohio courtroom today over allegations he tried to bribe U.S. officials in order to win government contracts for his companies in connection with U.S. military operations in Iraq.

According to DOJ’s announcement Monday, Atilan is the first person extradited from Iraq to the United States under a 1936 extradition treaty between the two nations.

DOJ Criminal Division chief Leslie R. Caldwell called the extradition historic, adding, “Atilan’s return to the United States, after more than six years on the run, sends a clear message to fugitives: No matter where in the world you try to hide, we will find you, and we will prosecute you.”

In 2008, Atilan allegedly cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled the country while awaiting a hearing before a federal judge in Dayton, Ohio, where some of the Defense contracting officials Atilan is accused of trying to bribe were stationed.

Authorities had warned he was a flight risk. He was tracked down in a soup shop.

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