A Saudi national serving eight years to life in prison in Colorado after being convicted in 2006 of sexually assaulting a housekeeper and keeping her a slave for four years has been ordered to attend a parole hearing on Tuesday.
Homaidan al-Turki’s hearing will be at the Limon Correction Facility.
Adrienne Jacobson, a Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman, said last week that al-Turki will not be allowed to waive his privilege to attend the hearing.
Jacobson said the hearing was unrelated to al-Turki’s earlier request to be sent to his native Saudi Arabia to serve the remainder of his sentence, which was denied by the Department of Corrections. Prosecutors opposed the request, fearing he would be released in Saudi Arabia. They also cited his refusal to follow Colorado law that requires sex offenders to undergo treatment while in prison.
The U.S. government has placed a hold on al-Turki, requiring that federal officials be notified before he is released, Jacobson said. No reason has been given for the federal request.
“It’s just time for him to see the parole board again. He has been parole-eligible for some time. He has been waiving his parole appearances and now he has to appear on Tuesday. This case is being handled like any other case,” she said.
Henry Solano, an attorney for al-Turki, said that under federal immigration law, al-Turki would be subject to deportation as a convicted felon if he is released. Saudi Arabia has agreed that if al-Turki is paroled and then deported there, it would put him under strict conditional supervision and require that he undergo appropriate treatment.
Meanwhile, al-Turki’s son posted a video on YouTube calling on people to sign a petition urging U.S. President Barack Obama to help in the release of his father.
“President Obama and [Colorado] Governor Hickenlooper, Homaidan al-Turki has been in prison in Colorado for over seven years and has served more than his minimum sentence. Recently, he has been subjected to unfair treatment and false accusations. We ask you to send him back to Saudi Arabia.”
Al-Turki insisted the case was politically motivated. He owned a company that some years ago sold recordings of sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and radical Muslim cleric who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
Al-Awlaki attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins and lived in Denver in the late 1990s.
Al-Turki’s conviction angered Saudi officials and prompted the U.S. State Department to send Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan and al-Turki’s family.
Prison officials, including the warden at Limon Correction Facility, have called al-Turki a model inmate who worked with other inmates in a pre-release program. He also contributed to an inmate fund to buy self-improvement DVDs, officials noted in a report.