Colorado: Saudi Slavery Diversity Revisited with Reduced Sentence

Who knew that the lowlife convicted slavemaster Homaidan al-Turki (pictured) would be in the news again and so soon? It was just 2006 when the Saudi PhD student was sentenced to hard time by a Colorado court for holding an Indonesian woman as a sex slave in his home. He apparently is well connected with powerful Saudis, as shown by the Colorado Attorney General flying to Riyadh a few months later to “explain” the case to King Abdullah (“knee-to-knee”).

So it probably shouldn’t be a big surprise that the jailbird is now being cut some slack in the sentence department, although how much isn’t exactly clear.

Al-Turki squawked during his trial and ever since that he was a victim of Islamophobia and cultural misunderstanding. Saudi Arabia only outlawed slavery in 1962, so perhaps Saudis haven’t gotten used to the idea of abolition just yet. He even maintains an eponymous website to whine about his imagined victimhood. Mr. Turki apparently feels he is too special to be constrained by American laws against slavery and sexual abuse.

Interestingly, since Saudi students are in the news this week with the arrest of Khalid Aldawsari on terror charges, the ArabNews mentioned in connection with that case that 40,000 students from The Kingdom currently attend school in the United States. We are certainly blessed with an overdose of diverse enrichment.

Another item of note is that al-Turki’s business owns the rights to sermons of American-born jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, so the FBI’s suspicions of terrorist connections are understandable.

Saudi linguist gets sentence partially reduced, Associated Press, February 25, 2011

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) – A Saudi linguist convicted of sexually assaulting a housekeeper and keeping her a virtual slave for four years won a partial reduction of his prison sentence from a Colorado judge Friday.

Homaidan al-Turki was sentenced to between eight years and life in prison. District Judge J. Mark Hannen in Centennial cited al-Turki’s good behavior in prison in reducing the original sentence of 28 years to life.

Al-Turki insists he is innocent and a victim of anti-Muslim sentiment. His case has angered Saudi authorities — several of whom attended Friday’s hearing — 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 after al-Turki’s 2006 conviction.

More than 100 supporters of al-Turki crowded the courthouse Friday.

Prosecutors opposed any sentence reduction. Appellate courts have upheld al-Turki’s conviction, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case last year.

Al-Turki brought his wife, five children and an Indonesian housekeeper to Colorado in 1995, and he studied at the University of Colorado. He was a well-known member of Denver’s Muslim community, contributing financially to the Colorado Muslim Society and an Islamic elementary school in Aurora, said Sheikh Abu-Omar Almubarac, a society co-founder.

According to court documents, al-Turki first came under investigation when authorities examined whether his operation of a business violated terms of his student visa. Al-Turki owned Al-Basheer Publications & Translations, which distributed Islamic works in English.

After interviewing the housekeeper, prosecutors brought the assault and slavery charges against al-Turki.

At trial, al-Turki testified that FBI agents persuaded the housekeeper to accuse him of imprisoning and sexually assaulting her after they failed to build a case that he was a terrorist. The woman initially denied any sexual abuse and made the allegations after being detained by immigration officials.

Al-Turki’s attorneys claim that federal officials had been investigating him for alleged terrorist ties since 1995. No terrorism charges were filed.

A state jury convicted him of unlawful sexual contact by use of force, theft and extortion — all felonies — as well as misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment. Similar federal charges were dropped.

Al-Turki’s company holds the copyright to “The Lives of the Prophets,” a CD set of sermons recorded by the U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Thought to be hiding in Yemen, al-Awlaki is believed to have inspired and even plotted recent attempted attacks on the U.S., including the failed December 2009 bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner and the unsuccessful plot to send mail bombs on planes from Yemen to the U.S. Al-Awlaki also is believed to have inspired the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, and had ties to some of the 9/11 hijackers.

Federal law enforcement authorities in Denver have declined to say whether it was al-Turki’s relationship with al-Awlaki that brought al-Turki under scrutiny.

Al-Turki has filed a federal lawsuit claiming guards at the Limon Correctional Facility denied him medical attention as he passed a kidney stone. That suit is pending.

  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Blogplay
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • Add to favorites
  • blogmarks
  • MyShare
  • BlinkList
  • Diigo
  • Faves
  • FriendFeed
  • NewsVine
  • Socialogs
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • PDF
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon