SYDNEY, N.S. — A 28-year-old Saudi man charged with sexually assaulting a Cape Breton woman has gone missing, with a leading immigration lawyer saying it may be a case of the Middle Eastern kingdom helping a citizen flee while awaiting trial.
Nova Scotia's prosecution service says Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi had $37,500 of his bail posted by the Saudi Arabian embassy last year in relation to the alleged sexual assault, assault and forcible confinement of the woman between Aug. 1, 2015, and March 26, 2017.
Alzoabi - Charges - Driving - Assault - Car
Alzoabi is also facing separate charges of dangerous driving and assault with a car in a December 2015 incident involving a Cape Breton man.
The money the kingdom provided for Alzoabi's bail last year was forfeited when he failed to appear in court last Monday, said prosecutor Shane Russell in an interview from his Sydney, N.S., office.
Court - Document - Sheriff - Alzoabi - Dec
A court document says the sheriff unsuccessfully tried to locate Alzoabi on Dec. 8, and quotes his lawyer at the time, David Iannetti, as saying Alzoabi "fled the country some time ago," even though police had seized his passport.
Veteran immigration lawyer Lee Cohen said in an interview that the likeliest way Alzoabi would have left the country without a passport is with embassy-issued travel documents, as airlines face heavy fines if they board passengers without the government-issued permission or a passport.
Saudi - Arabian - Embassy - Emails - Telephone
The Saudi Arabian embassy has not responded to emails or telephone calls requesting comment.
"In order for this guy to leave Canada without a passport, it had to be facilitated by the Saudi government, or some government, and there's no reason to believe that any other government would put themselves in this position," said Cohen, who has practised immigration law for decades in Nova Scotia.
Government - Bail - Departure
"It's intriguing to me as to why the Saudi government would put up bail and then facilitate his departure from...
Wake Up To Breaking News!