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Saudi prisoner al-Turki moved to federal custody for 'security reasons'

9:12 PM, Sep 6, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - 9Wants to Know has learned Homaidan al-Turki, a Saudi national serving prison time for sexual assault in Colorado, has been transferred from a state prison to federal custody because of "security concerns." 

"We don't know anything about those concerns," said al-Turki's attorney, Henry Solano. "This transfer was not at his request."  

Homaidan al-Turki was moved from his prison cell in Limon to a Federal facility in Englewood early Friday morning in a surprising and unexpected move, Solano said. The transfer began at 3:30 a.m., according to Solano. 

Colorado's Department of Corrections confirmed to 9Wants to Know the transfer of al-Turki, but would not reveal the reasons for the transfer. 

"When we make these transfers, we never reveal the reasons why and that's for all cases," said Alison Morgan, a department spokesperson. 

Morgan said a compact between the federal government and the state allows them to routinely transfer inmates between facilities for the "business needs of the department and the safe operations of our facilities." 

Al-Turki is currently serving a 28 year prison sentence for repeatedly sexually assaulting his housekeeper in Aurora.

Prosecutors say he treated his housekeeper like a sex slave and forced her to live in a basement next to a water heater. 

Al-Turki has claimed he lost his criminal case because of anti-Muslim sentiment. 

The al-Turki case put repeatedly put relations between Saud Arabia and the US government in the spotlight during his arrest and trial.  

Al-Turki and his government requested that he be transferred back to his home country to serve out the remainder of his sentence.  That transfer request was denied earlier this year by Tom Clements. Clements was the head of the state's correction system when was fatally shot by Evan Ebel.

Al-Turki's name made it back into the headlines when there was suspicion he may have had some sort of connection to the Clements murder investigation. 

Solano strongly asserted to 9Wants to Know his client had nothing to do with the Clements' murder. 

Solano also said al-Turki met with former Director of Prisons Mark Flowers several weeks ago before Flowers resigned.  Solano said Flowers told al-Turki he was open about meeting with al-Turki's attorneys. 

Flowers resigned earlier this week and the reason for his resignation remains a mystery. 

Morgan said the resignation is a "completely unrelated" matter when it comes to the transfer of al-Turki to federal custody. 
Morgan said al-Turki will technically be under state custody while in a federal facility.  The transfer also may be permanent, which could mean al-Turki could end up serving the remainder of his sentence in the Bureau of Prisons. 

"There are not foreseeable plans to change his status," Morgan said. 

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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