Friday, April 01, 2005
Saudi princess misbehaving (updated)
According to J.M. Lawrence and Franci Richardson of the Boston Herald,
Federal prosecutors claim Jader threatened her maids, identified in court papers as "Tri" and "Ro," with "serious harm or physical restraint" if they did not obey, and she paid each woman $75 per week while telling immigration officials they earned $375 per week.
Neighbors told the Herald the two maids wore mint green smocks and were spit upon by Jader's five sons, who would arrive home from school and toss their backpacks in the garden for "Tri" and "Ro" to fetch. The children are 11 and older.
"I asked them, 'Why do you treat them so bad?' And they said because they are women," one neighbor said.
The AP reports that—
Al Jader paid the women $300 a month and forced them to work long hours, authorities said. However, to obtain visa extensions for the women, she allegedly provided U.S. immigration officials with fake contracts that said the women were earning $1,500 a month and working only eight hours a day.
... U.S. Magistrate Joyce London Alexander ordered her held without bail pending a detention hearing Friday.
"She has a serious risk of flight," prosecutor Theodore Merritt said.
Al Jader's lawyer, James Michael Merberg, said Saudi consulate officials from New York and Washington, D.C., plan to travel to Boston for Friday's hearing.
Well, if this isn't a fine kettle of fish. The U.S. lets the Saudis fly home after 9/11, but now won't even let a princess out of jail — and just because she's acting in a manner to which she's become accustomed. We may be on the verge of a spike in oil prices.
According to the Boston Globe, on Saturday the princess was granted bail of $1 million and ordered to turn over her passport, plus the deeds to two residences and a business. The court was packed with "an overflow crowd of supporters."
By the time she reached the bail hearing the princess had aged a year and is now 40, as earlier accounts had placed her at 39. I'm completely sympathetic. I was 39 for a number of years myself.
A bracelet for the princess (4/29/05)