What is going on here? A Saudi student at UCM studying AVIATION is accused of hiring his roommate to kill a bar owner. Missouri AG Koster had a deal to let the Saudi go without prosecution until the police department raised hell about it. Koster should be relieved of his duties immediately. Who paid him off? Was someone blackmailing him? Is he a convert? Whatever the reason, he is compromised and dangerous.
And the Saudi government is posted his 2 million dollar bond? If the guy is let out of jail, he should leave the country.
Have you noticed how the Saudis post bond for vicious jihadists here in the US? Two weeks ago, the Saudis they posted a five million dollar bond for a Muslim princess in California who had enslaved domestic help in California.
Motion: AG backed out of deal to free Saudi By Bill Draper, The Associated Press, August 1, 2013 (thanks to Laura)
FILE - This file photo provided by the Warrensburg, Mo., Police Department shows Ziyad Abid, a former University of Central Missouri student and a Saudi national accused of hiring his roommate to kill a Warrensburg bar owner. A judge overseeing Abid´s case on Monday, July 29, 2013 said that heâ€™s confused about why prosecutors dismissed charges against the man, then immediately refiled them after a grand jury returned a new indictment charging him with the same offenses. (AP Photo/Warrensburg Police Department, File)
Political pressure forced Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office to back out of a deal that could have led to the release of a Saudi national accused of paying his roommate to kill a bar owner, attorneys for Ziyad Abid say in a motion filed with the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District.
Abid, 24, a former University of Central Missouri student studying aviation, has been behind bars since his arrest Sept. 5 on first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges in the Sept. 1 shooting of Blaine Whitworth, who owned two bars in Warrensburg. Abid was arrested after his roommate, Reginald Singletary Jr., told investigators he killed Whitworth but said Abid paid him to do it, according to a court record.
Singletary is being held on $1 million bond on the same charges as Abid. Defense attorneys attempted to depose him Tuesday, but he refused to answer any questions under oath, defense attorney Pat Peters said. Both he and Abid have pleaded not guilty.
In the appeals court motion, Peters wrote that Johnson County Sheriff Charles Heiss contacted Koster on Monday and told him he did not approve of the agreement, causing the attorney general to change his mind. "Unfortunately, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster had political concerns, and political concerns take precedence over agreements, rules or laws," Peters wrote. The motion doesn't elaborate on what Heiss might have said to put pressure on the attorney general or mention anyone else who may have contacted him.
Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said Thursday the office was examining the case and was unable to comment.
Heiss told The Associated Press on Thursday that he was at a sheriff's conference when he heard there might be a change of venue and asked Koster whether he was aware of it. Heiss denied pressuring the attorney general to back out of any deal and said he just wanted to know what was going on because his department would have to transport Abid if he were to be moved.
"I find it very difficult to believe that I carry that much water," Heiss said.
The Saudi Arabian government posted $2 million bond in April, but Circuit Judge Michael Wagner said it didn't meet stipulations set by Wagner's predecessor, Jacqueline Cook. Wagner ordered Abid to remain in jail on no bond because he believes the Saudi is a flight risk or could be deported by the federal government if released.
After months of wrangling between attorneys and Wagner over whether Abid is entitled to post bond, Johnson County prosecutor Lynn Stoppy convened a grand jury Friday that returned an indictment charging Abid with the same two crimes. Stoppy dropped the previous counts and charged him with them again, setting in motion a scenario in which she and defense attorneys could seek a new judge and new venue for the trial. Koster's office proposed those actions to Stoppy and had confirmed that Ray County Judge David Miller would accept the case and most likely release Abid on bond, according to the appeals court motion filed Wednesday. In return, Abid's attorneys, who had asked for a speedy trial and insisted on starting Aug. 20, as scheduled, agreed to a continuance.
John Leger, who represents the Saudi consulate in Houston, sent a letter Monday to the Johnson County court clerk authorizing the $2 million to be transferred to Ray County. Miller had agreed to set a hearing for Tuesday, where bond conditions were to be set and Abid would be released, the motion said.
But Monday afternoon, Koster contacted Stoppy while she was in court and told her he was backing out of the agreement, the motion said. The appeals court on Wednesday ordered Wagner to file suggestions by noon Aug. 5 in response to the motion, which seeks to have him removed from the case, Abid freed from jail and the case moved to Ray County.