JEDDAH/RIYADH – A team of six US law offices will appeal the Aug. 2006 verdict of 28 years imprisonment of Saudi national Homaidan Al-Turki for alleged forced labor and aggravated sexual harassment of his Indonesian housemaid with the Colorado Supreme Court, the Al-Turki family said Friday.
The law offices have started to act, the Al-Turki family spokesman said after the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld Al-Turki’s conviction on Thursday, ruling that the trial court correctly set limits during jury selection and that the jury’s findings were supported by evidence. It can take up to a year-and-a-half before the Colorado Supreme Court reaches a decision about the appeal, said Fahd Al-Nassar, spokesman of the Al-Turki family.
The decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals to uphold the sentence disappointed the family members who firmly believe that their son is innocent behind bars, Al-Nassar said.
The decision has compounded the grievance of Homaidan’s mother who had just lost her sister, he added.
“But there is still faith that he will be acquitted because he is innocent,” he said.
Al-Nassar was surprised to hear the decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals to uphold the ruling in only two weeks after the hearing session of the appeal, a case which should have taken at least four to six weeks, he said. “We do not know why the decision to refuse the appeal was taken so quickly,” he said.
But with the new Obama administration in the White House, the family hopes to see a positive result in the case after the new administration’s promises to retain civil rights in the US and to cancel emergency laws that have victimized innocent Arabs and Muslims in the US in the aftermath of 9/11, he said.
The family has also pinned hopes on diplomatic effort exerted by the Saudi government to bring about a happy ending to the misery of their son in the US prison, he said.
The Saudi embassy in Washington has been in close touch with Al-Turki’s lawyer to know the next legal procedure to be taken in the case, a source at the embassy said.
The embassy, according to the US laws, cannot directly intervene in the case, but only through the lawyer, the source added. – Okaz/SG