Khobar bombing suspect may be sent to Saudi Arabia
May 29, 1997
Web posted at: 3:28 p.m. EDT (1928 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. and Canadian officials are
considering sending a Saudi suspect accused of participating
in the Khobar Towers bombing back to Saudi Arabia instead of
bringing him to the United States, CNN has learned.
Returning to Saudi Arabia would mean almost certain death for
the suspect, according to U.S., Canadian and Saudi government
Canadian authorities are on the verge of issuing a final
deportation order for Hani al-Sayegh, who is accused of
playing a role in the June 1996 bombing that killed 19 U.S.
servicemen and injured hundreds of others in Saudi Arabia.
The order could come as early as Thursday, though
Canadian and U.S. government sources suggest the political
complexity of the decision could delay it.
Previously, officials in both Canada and the United States
had indicated the likely destination for al-Sayegh would be
the United States, since the FBI wants him to help in the
investigation and prosecution of the bombing case.
But this week, al-Sayegh allowed his Canadian attorney to
quit the case after a sharp disagreement over strategy.
Without an attorney, plea-bargain negotiations between the
FBI and the suspect ground to a halt.
Diplomatic sources said Saudi Arabia would be eager to
That scenario would be an embarrassment to the United States,
however, since U.S. investigators would have allowed the
suspect to escape prosecution in the United States after
he was publicly named by a Canadian court as one of the
participants in the bombing.
Correspondent Ralph Begleiter
contributed to this report.
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