The FBI believes the Saudi Arabian government “almost certainly” helps its citizens flee the country after they are accused of serious crimes, “undermining the US judicial process,” according to a newly declassified document obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
The surreptitious action is done, in part, to spare the wealthy Persian Gulf kingdom embarrassment, the FBI said. Intelligence officials believe the flights from justice will continue without intervention by the American authorities.
Saudi officials “are unlikely to alter this practice in the near term unless the US Government directly addresses this issue with (Saudi Arabia) and ties US cooperation on (Saudi) priorities to ceasing this activity,” according to the FBI.
The details are contained in an intelligence bulletin dated Aug. 29. The FBI released the document Friday as part of a recent law pushed by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and signed by President Donald Trump last month that requires the FBI to publicly disclose what it knows about the Saudi government’s suspected role in helping its citizens avoid prosecution in the U.S.
The eight-page bulletin is heavily redacted and does not specify what the Saudi officials may have done, nor does it contain information about the size and scope of the practice.
But the document provides the first public acknowledgement by federal officials about the role Saudi operatives have likely played in the disappearance of numerous citizens who have gotten into legal trouble while in the U.S.
The revelation comes a year after an investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive found multiple cases where Saudi students studying throughout the U.S. vanished while facing manslaughter, sex crimes and other felony charges, with the suspected assistance of their government. The cases occurred under several U.S. administrations.
The news organization revealed criminal cases involving at least seven Saudi nationals who disappeared from Oregon before they faced trial or completed their jail sentences on charges ranging from rape to manslaughter, including those who had surrendered their passports to authorities.
I’m generally not a fan of remand without bail, but it appears that if a subject of the House of Saud accused of a serious crime, they are by definition a flight risk.
Yes, they should proclaim themselve Hassids and skip to Israel.