Oklahoma prosecutors fear an Uber driver released on a $500,000 bond in a murder case may flee to Saudi Arabia.
Omar Emran Ba-Abbad bonded out of jail Friday, but it’s unclear if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia posted the bond, the Tulsa World reported Saturday. A judge had ordered him to wear an ankle monitor as a condition of release.
Tulsa County prosecutors have accused the 32-year-old man of mowing down Jeremy Shadrick with his Uber vehicle following an altercation.
Shadrick, 44, who had played football for the University of Tennessee, died after hailing an Uber ride from Ba-Abbad on June 26.
Prosecutor Mark Collier said Saudi Arabia attempted to post Ba-Abbad’s bond Tuesday. He now wants a judge to revoke the bond.
A judge will hear his motion at a hearing Monday.
Ba-Abbad is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and has a parent in Saudi Arabia, the paper reported.
Prosecutors argue that other accused Saudi Arabia citizens have fled the U.S. after being released on bonds posted by Saudi Arabia.
“If you Google it, you will see it is not uncommon for the government of Saudi Arabia to post bonds in the United States for serious offenses, and then they go to Saudi Arabia and are never prosecuted,” Collier said, the paper reported Friday. “I can’t say that was the plan for this case, but I can say I have been told that is a common thing.”
Ba-Abbad attorney Thomas Adler said that even if reports say other Saudi Arabian citizens have fled the U.S. that doesn't mean Ba-Abbad will flee.
“To make a blanket assertion that, because a foreign government is involved, there’s a higher risk of flight is, I think, tenuous at best,” he said, according to the paper. “Frankly, it’s a case we believe he’s completely innocent of and is happy to fight. So I don’t think we have anything to run from.”