Colorado prosecutors oppose Saudi’s deportation
The Associated Press
CENTENNIAL — Prosecutors are citing the investigation into the slaying of Colorado’s prisons director as a reason to keep a Saudi national convicted of sexual abuse behind bars in the U.S.
Homaidan al-Turki, convicted in 2006 of sexually abusing his housekeeper, is seeking to be released from prison and deported to Saudi Arabia to serve probation.
During a court hearing on his request Friday, prosecutor Ann Tomsic told a judge that if al-Turki is deported, authorities would not be able to bring him back to the U.S. if investigators found a link between him and the shooting death of Tom Clements this year.
Her comments came a day after testimony suggesting that investigators haven’t found any connection.
Al-Turki’s lawyer, Norman Mueller, said his client should be allowed to serve probation at home because he’s a model inmate, is considered a low risk for reoffending and has been separated from his family for eight years.
A ruling on the latest transfer request is expected within two months.
Thursday’s testimony marked the first time corrections officials publicly acknowledged that al-Turki was investigated in Clements’ slaying. Clements was killed in March outside his home about a week after denying an earlier transfer request from al-Turki.
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.
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.
Al-Turki’s lawyers raised the investigation of Clements’ death while questioning Angel Medina, assistant director of the Colorado Department of Corrections. Medina was not asked whether al-Turki had been formally cleared in the death.
But Medina said no misconduct was reflected on a subsequent assessment of the prisoner.
Medina did not say why al-Turki was investigated.
Paul Hollenbeck, an associate director of the state Corrections Department, testified Thursday that Clements was prepared in January to grant al-Turki’s transfer. However, the transfer was denied after an FBI agent contacted the Department of Corrections saying he had information about al-Turki, Hollenbeck said. Hollenbeck didn’t elaborate on what the agent said or why the transfer was denied.
Al-Turki is serving eight years to life in prison after his conviction on unlawful sexual contact by use of force, false imprisonment and other charges — all in the case involving his housekeeper, whom authorities say he treated as a virtual slave.
Al-Turki has denied the charges, saying he is a victim of anti-Muslim sentiment inflamed by the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Al-Turki has been transferred to a federal prison in Tucson, Ariz., in part because of the notoriety of the Clements investigation, Medina said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User