SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in Sacramento has declined to extradite Omar Ameen back to Iraq for the alleged 2014 murder of a police officer in his hometown of Rawah, Iraq.
In the conclusion to his ruling, Federal Judge Edmund Brennan wrote that “the evidence strongly supports that Ameen never left Turkey in June 2014, and the record before the court, taken in its entirety, does not establish probable cause that he was responsible” for the officer’s murder. Ameen's attorneys have vigorously argued that point. The victim's parents also believe Ameen is innocent, and even withdrew the complaint filed against him and have asked that the murder charge be dropped, according to Iraqi court documents filed by Ameen's defense team.
Prosecutors representing the Iraqi government argued that testimony from a lone eyewitness, who claims to have seen the killing, should be enough for the court to certify Ameen's extradition to Iraq.
Ameen has been in jail in Sacramento for more than two and a half years since his arrest at an apartment in Arden Arcade back in August 2018.
It is unclear when Ameen will be released from custody, but in his order, Brennan wrote, “Unless there are pending domestic charges on which the government can justify Ameen’s continued detention, it is ORDERED that Omar Abdulsatar Ameen be immediately released from custody. At the time of writing, the court has not been made aware of any such pending charges.”