Prosecutors in US oppose Saudi’s deportation
CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) — A Saudi national convicted of sexually abusing his housekeeper should remain behind bars in the U.S. in case investigators find some link between him and the slaying of a state prisons director, a prosecutor said Friday.
Homaidan al-Turki, has served his minimum sentence and is seeking to be released and deported to Saudi Arabia to serve probation.
During a court hearing on his request, prosecutor Ann Tomsic told a judge that if al-Turki leaves the country, authorities would not be able to bring him back if investigators find a link between him and the shooting death of Colorado prisons director Tom Clements this year.
Her comments came a day after Colorado’s assistant prisons chief suggested that no such connection had been found while acknowledging for the first time that al-Turki was being investigated in the death.
Clements was killed outside his home about a week after denying a previous transfer request from al-Turki.
Tomsic said outside the courtroom that the sheriff’s department in El Paso County considers al-Turki is considered a person of interest in the death.
Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Joe Roybal declined to confirm Tomsic’s statement.
Authorities say former Colorado inmate Evan Spencer Ebel was found with a gun that matched the one used to shoot Clements. Ebel, a member of a white supremacist gang, died in a shootout with Texas authorities two days after Clements was killed.
In an April lawsuit, al-Turki alleged that officials improperly leaked word that a “main working theory” in the murder investigation was that Clements was killed in retaliation for rejecting the transfer request.
Al-Turki has not been charged in Clements death, and his lawyers deny he was involved.
One of his attorneys, Norman Mueller, said al-Turki should be allowed to serve probation near family in Saudi Arabia because he’s a model inmate and considered a low risk for reoffending. Mueller also says al-Turki has met the minimum requirement of his sentence.
“He has been punished,” Mueller said.
Tomsic said al-Turki has refused to participate in a mandatory sex offender program and remains in denial after committing what she called a “heinous” crime.
Authorities have said al-Turki kept the housekeeper as a virtual slave.
Judge J. Mark Hannen said he expected to rule on al-Turki’s request within 60 days.
Al-Turki is serving eight years to life in prison after his 2006 conviction on unlawful sexual contact by use of force, false imprisonment and other charges.
He has denied the charges, saying he is a victim of anti-Muslim sentiment inflamed by the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
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