Foreign diplomat flees US after misdemeanour charge
WASHINGTON: A UAE diplomat who had been arrested and then released on a sexual misdemeanour charge and whose diplomatic immunity waiver Virginia authorities were seeking, fled the country at the weekend.
According to a report in the Washington Times, Salem Al-Mazrooei (40) was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from an undercover detective posing as a 13-year-old girl. Virginia’s Attorney Randy Krantz said that he knew a request to the UAE to waive diplomatic immunity in the case was “a difficult one,” but that he was “frustrated” that embassy officials did not show “good faith” in rendering a decision and instead turned the diplomat into “an international fugitive cloaked in diplomatic immunity.” He added, “If there ever was a case that called for the waiver of diplomatic immunity, this was it.”
The UAE diplomat, director of the embassy's Abu Dhabi Scholarship Programme, was arrested on February 23 near a parking lot in Forest, Virginia, where he had arranged to meet the “teenager.” Krantz said there was no doubt about Al-Mazrooei's intentions when he took the four-hour drive to Bedford County to meet with the “teenager,” noting that in one e-mail he said, “I know what I'm doing is illegal, I know that it is wrong,” and in another, “If you've got a friend, maybe we could have a threesome. I could take you back to school.” He added, “I see sexual exploitation cases all the time and not much embarrasses me anymore. But I would have been embarrassed reading some of his e-mails in mixed company.”
Officials at the UAE Embassy did not return calls from the newspaper. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said US officials learned that Al-Mazrooei and his family had returned to the UAE when they went to the embassy earlier this week to request that his diplomatic immunity be waived. khalid hasan