Judge rejects Saudi convict’s request for informant names
A federal judge has summarily dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Saudi sex offender who wanted the U.S. Department of Justice to release the names of confidential informants in his case.
Homaidan al-Turki, who was convicted of sexually assaulting his maid, had accused the agency of illegally denying the information following numerous requests for documents through the federal Freedom of Information Act.
U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel declined to release the names, ruling late last month that doing so could “irretrievably harm a very important means for the FBI to collect information and hamper its law enforcement efforts to detect and apprehend criminals.”
But Faisal Salahuddin, alTurki’s attorney, said the lawsuit forced the FBI to release nearly 500 pages of information that the agency previously refused to release.
“Our lawsuit was successful because before we filed suit, the FBI refused to release anything. After we filed suit, they released two binders full of documents,” Salahuddin said in a written reply to the newspaper’s request for comment.
Once Salahuddin sued, the FBI changed their position 180 degrees, he wrote.
“It was in this context that the federal judge granted summary judgment for the FBI in our FOIA case on the remaining exemptions that they had claimed,” Salahuddin added.
Al-Turki also has sued Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, claiming false statements made by him, his staff and federal agents slandered him and thwarted his attempt to be transferred to Saudi Arabia for the remainder of his sentence.
Al-Turki is seeking an injunction ordering the defendants to refrain from making false statements about him, including saying he had terrorist ties or was involved in former Colorado prison chief Thomas Clements’ assassination.
Defendants in that ongoing case had denied making defamatory remarks and conspiring to stop al-Turki’s transfer to Saudi Arabia.
Al-Turki is currently being held at a high-security U.S. Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.
Homaidan al-Turki accused the Department of Justice of illegally denying him information.