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Saudi linguist involved in slavery charges may be cleared for transfer

A Saudi linguist convicted of sexually assaulting a housekeeper and keeping her a virtual slave for four years in Colorado has cleared initial administrative hurdles for a transfer to Saudi Arabia under a United States treaty.

A spokeswoman for the state corrections department said Friday that Homaidan Al-Turki's foreign national offender transfer application is awaiting final approval by the department's director.

Al-Turki says he's innocent and a victim of anti-Muslim sentiment. His 2006 conviction angered Saudi officials and prompted the U.S. State Department to send Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan and al-Turki's family.

Al-Turki's sentence in 2011 was reduced from 28 years to life to eight years to life.

Prosecutors who opposed the reduction couldn't be immediately reached for comment.