Last month, the Oregonian wrote about a young Saudi Arabian man charged in a fatal hit-and-run in Portland who disappeared before his trial began. A mysterious black SUV showed up at his house one day and spirited him off, and the best guess of prosecutors is that the government of Saudi Arabia arranged for him to flee the country. Now the Oregonian is back with a new story, one that points to a disturbing pattern. The newspaper has found a total of five Saudi Arabian men who have gotten into trouble with the law in Oregon and vanished in similar fashion. Two were accused rapists, two were suspected hit-and-run drivers, and the fifth had child pornography on his computer.
“This is even more evidence that the Saudi government has acted to help its citizens escape justice for crimes committed in Oregon,” says Sen. Ron Wyden. The newspaper finds similarities in their cases that back up his assertion. For one thing, all were attending a public college with the assistance of the kingdom, and in four of the cases, it was the Saudi government itself that posted bail. The newspaper also finds that the Saudis hired the same defense attorney in the four most recent cases, Ginger Mooney, who declined to comment for the story. (Click to read it in full.)