There is a disturbing account in The Oregonian/OregonLive that raises a long-standing issue that few people want to talk about in Washington: the long record of Saudi Arabia in violating our laws and helping felons flee the country before trial or sentencing. The article addresses just a few cases but it is a problem nationwide as Saudi Arabian nationals kill or injure Americans only to have the government help the culprits post bond and then flee. For example, Abdulrahman Ali Al-Plaies was accused of killing a 79-year-old woman in the center of Xenia, Ohio, a small Ohio town. Just days before trial, the Saudis allegedly sent a military officer to whisk him away.
The article discussed several cases The Oregonian/OregonLive recently uncovered in Oregon. From rape to murder, American victims have been shoved aside by Saudi officials who are accused of systematically violating U.S. laws to guarantee that Saudi citizens remain above the law. Other countries have complained of similar cases, particularly involving Saudi royal family members accused of crimes from murder to rape to unpaid bills.
Al-Plaises was 27 years old and a Central State University student when he plowed his car into the back of an Oldsmobile Cutlass at 60 mph, thrusting it 110 feet. The Buick then T-boned a pickup carrying a mother and her two small children.
A grand jury indicted him on charges of involuntary manslaughter and his bail was set at $50,000. However, the bail was mysteriously cut in half and he claimed that his passport could not be turned in because he lost it.
Al-Plaies pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He claimed he had been on a religious fast for two weeks before the crash, drinking only water.
His defense attorney told The Oregonian/OregonLive, “I think there were decisions made in this case above my pay grade. All you got to do is read the news and you’ll see decisions are made between us and the Saudi government with bigger implications than what happened in our little county in Ohio.”
The implications for the grieving family of course could not be “bigger.” Their loss was simply dismissed and forgotten in the wake of another Saudi fleeing justice with the help of our close Middle Eastern ally.