Australia presses Saudi Arabia on extradited dual national
In a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday evening, officials said that Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne had written to Riyadh in May to "raise the case of Mr al-Hasani and note the Australian government’s close and continuing interest in this case".
Payne said there has been "a great deal of engagement between officials and officials, but not to the ends that we’re seeking".
Saudi Arabia has not issued an official response to the letter, according to The Guardian.
Hasani, a dual Saudi-Australian citizen, was arrested in Morocco earlier this year under an Interpol red notice requested by Riyadh.
The businessman and religious preacher was travelling on his Australian passport when he was detained in the coastal city of Tangier, and later extradited to Saudi Arabia.
According to the red notice, Hasani was wanted over his alleged connection to a theft of cars from a Saudi dealership in 2015. His lawyers and family have denied the charges, saying that the arrest was politically motivated.
Hasani's London-based lawyers have expressed concern that their client, who has not been heard from since being extradited, could be tortured in Saudi Arabia.
On Thursday, the Australian foreign ministry's top consular official said that Canberra would continue to raise the issue with Riyadh.
"The Australian government remains concerned about the circumstances of Mr al-Hasani’s detention, his access to due process, and the proceedings under which he was extradited to Saudi Arabia," Lynette Wood told the Senate foreign affairs, defence and trade committee.