Saudi Arabia is seeking the release of Homaidan al-Turki, a Saudi national who is serving a Colorado prison sentence for sexually assaulting a housekeeper whom he kept as a virtual slave in his home.
Security was increased Thursday for a hearing that was held for al-Turki at an Arapahoe County Courthouse. According to a report by 7News, snipers could be seen on the roof of the building and there was an added security checkpoint directly outside of the courtroom.
Fahed Al-Rawaf of the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C. appeared in the courtroom to ask the court to allow al-Turki to complete his sentence at home.
Al-Turki was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 28 years to life for committing unlawful sexual contact by use of force, theft and extortion. He has maintained his innocence and has argued that the case was politically motivated and stems from anti-Muslim sentiment following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Earlier this year, Colorado officials denied a similar request for al-Turki's release from the Saudi Arabian government which ultimately ended up in hightened security because one week later Colorado Department of Corrections Chief Tom Clements was killed at his home. Clements himself wrote a letter to al-Turki and made the decision to deny the transfer request because al-Turki had not undergone sex offender treatment, which Colorado law requires of convicted sex offenders.
According to a report by The Associated Press, al-Turki's attorneys have blamed officials for leaking speculation that Clements may have been killed in retaliation for his denial of al-Turki's transfer request.