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Saudi Faced US Trial in Teen's Death. Then an SUV Showed Up

Feds think Saudi Arabia got Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah out of country: 'Oregonian'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2018 8:29 AM CST
Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah.   (Portland Police Department)

(Newser) – It's another controversial case involving Saudi Arabia and the US. This time, as the Oregonian reports, federal authorities think the kingdom helped a 21-year-old man awaiting trial in a fatal hit-and-run flee the United States and return home. In August 2016, police in Portland say Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah illegally swerved around traffic that had stopped to allow 15-year-old Fallon Smart to cross a boulevard. Noorah, who had been in the US studying at a local community college, hit the teen while going at least 55mph, then fled the scene before returning later, authorities say. The Saudi consulate put up $100,000 so Noorah could be released on bail in his first-degree manslaughter case. And two weeks before his trial, Noorah disappeared with help from a mysterious black SUV.

The vehicle picked up Noorah at his home and drove him to the parking lot of a nearby business, where he cut off the tracking monitor on his ankle and discarded it. He hasn't been seen since, though the Saudi government informed the US last year that he is back in Saudi Arabia. The best guess by federal authorities is that the Saudis arranged the SUV, got Noorah a fake passport, and got him out of the country on a private carrier. "We’re doing everything we can to get him back," a US marshal official tells the newspaper. A lawyer for victim Fallon's family asks, "Why isn’t the Saudi government respecting our justice system?” Click for the full story, which notes that this isn't the first time that Saudi Arabia bailed Noorah out of legal trouble in the US. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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