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Saturday, July 17, 2004

ABCNEWS.com : Acquitted Saudi Man Remains in Idaho Jail

ABCNEWS.com : Acquitted Saudi Man Remains in Idaho Jail
Acquitted Saudi Man Remains in Idaho Jail
Weeks After Being Acquitted, Saudi Man Still in Idaho Jail As Immigration Wheels Slowly Grind

The Associated Press



BOISE, Idaho July 16, 2004 — Five weeks after his acquittal on terrorism support charges, and more than two weeks after his deportation was supposedly set, a Saudi graduate student remains in county jail.
"That's dismaying," Sami Omar Al-Hussayen's defense attorney, David Nevin, said Friday. "From Sami's standpoint, you're sitting in a little cell without any windows, you get out for a brief period once a day, and you've been acquitted. ... He just wants to go home."





Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Southern California, said the government has run into some delays in arranging the deportation to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but Al-Hussayen should be out of the United States by the end of July.

When the government announced June 30 it would drop immigration violation charges against Al-Hussayen, 34, if the University of Idaho graduate student dropped his appeal of a deportation order, Nevin said he was told Al-Hussayen would be on a plane back home in two weeks.

Al-Hussayen, who was arrested in February 2003, was months from completing his doctorate in computer science when he was indicted on 11 immigration violation charges that federal prosecutors claimed were linked to terrorism.

The government later filed three charges accusing Al-Hussayen of using his computer skills to set up an Internet network of Web sites to finance and recruit terrorists.

But on June 10, a federal jury acquitted Al-Hussayen of all terrorism support charges and three of the 11 immigration violations. It deadlocked on the others, which prosecutors agreed to drop in return for Al-Hussaeyn's deportation.

Al-Hussayen's wife and three sons returned to Saudi Arabia in late January instead of fighting deportation. He is a member of a prominent Riyadh family and the son of the nation's retired education minister.

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