Who is Jason Dement?

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Born 16 February 1983 in Lumberton, MS.  Graduated Purvis High School in 2001.  Joined US Army in August 2001 and served 6 years overseas.  Currently lives in Germany with his family and works as a civilian on a US Army Military Installation at Katterbach Army Airfield.

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Current News - 18 April 2013

Thursday 18 April 2013

I have spoken at length with my lawyer about my case. Today she visited the Court House and requested my file. The investigative report had been concluded and my file was ready for her to inspect. She went over my entire file from the court, beginning to end and explained it to me. I will relate that info here:

On Sunday 14 April, at the airport in Antalya, I was apprehended due to stones found in my luggage. Amongst a bag of stones, two were taken to be investigated. I was detained at the airport and my wife was allowed to leave the country since I stated the stones belonged to me and that I had picked them up. The stones were photographed and sent to a museum historian who said that I should be detained and arrested until I could be taken to criminal court after an investigation was completed. The following day I was taken to a preliminary court to see a judge. The judge is the only one who has the power/authority to make an arrest and place me into custody. After reviewing my case and hearing my plea, the judge decided that the stones I had picked up could not be identified by an untrained eye as an artifact. That I had found them on the beach near my hotel with other stones and had not taken it from a historical site further influenced the judge's decision. Additionally, having a family and children as well as a stable job had an effect on her decision which was not to arrest me or place me in custody which is why she placed me on travel restriction so that I could not leave the country. I was given a seven day time period during which I could dispute the ruling and attempt to have the travel ban lifted. In the meantime, the investigative report of the stones has been completed and it has been determined that they could have been from the Roman Era. This makes them historical artifacts and means that my case must go to the Criminal High Court where most serious cases in Turkey go. My lawyer informed me that we must wait for a court date for which to appear before the High Court and we could expect it to take up to two weeks. She does not recommend that we object to the judges decision. The alternative to my travel restriction would have been to place me under arrest in confinement so we are to be grateful of that and I am told that I have been extremely lucky. Usually it gets uglier than this really fast. She has suggested that on Monday or Tuesday, whenever it is first possible, she will begin to try and see the judge and request an expediting of our case based on the fact that I need to return to my family and my job so as not to jeopardize my job security and the financial stability at home. She believes that we may be able to get a sooner court date that way and due to the unremarkable nature of our "artifacts", I will most likely be allowed to return back to my country while court proceedings continue. My lawyer had already attempted to speak to the judge on my behalf today but there were other court hearings in progress. The lawyer tells me that these types of cases are not uncommon in Turkey and that they are always taking place. Those cases do not gain the type of publicity mine has seen so far but we should not be worried about the government or any organization discriminating or attacking us because of the publicity.
I will obviously be hear longer than I wanted to be but primarily, I am happy to hear that I most likely will not be imprisoned. My lawyer has recommended that I continue to book my lodging one week at a time because she feels that I wont have to stay too long before being allowed to return.

There are still possibilities/probabilities of a monetary fine.
My lawyer has advised me to buy a prepaid phone here in Turkey to ease the economical burden
My lawyer fees were $3--- USD plus 18% VAT up front. Donations raised on my blog will cover those costs and the expenses of notaries and travel to and from the lawyer and court. My fundraiser is still in full swing to help support my cost of living, possible fines, my eventual flight out of this country and other unforeseen expenses.

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