Kuwaiti lawyer withdraws from divorce case following bomb threat confession

March 4, 2010

Orlando Turner

The Kuwaiti lawyer of an American national embroiled in a bitter divorce and baby custody case said that he would no longer represent him after he confessed to being behind the spate of bomb threat calls that disrupted Kuwait this year.

“I condemn what Orlando Turner did to Kuwait and Kuwaitis. I stood with him as a lawyer, but after I discovered that he was behind the hoax bomb threat calls, I no longer wish to represent him in his case,” Abdul Aziz Al Banwan said. “I do not now sympathise with him because of his antagonistic attitude towards Kuwait. What he did is a threat to my country’s safety and security,” the lawyer told Al Watan daily.

Turner, a former resident of Kuwait, last week confessed that he made bomb threat calls to put pressure on Kuwaiti authorities to speed up the settlement of divorce proceedings with his soon-to-be ex-Filipino wife who wants the custody of their 11-month-old daughter.

He first revealed himself on a YouTube video under the name ‘jackofalltrades98′, , saying that that he was behind nine of the ten bomb threat calls in Kuwait City in 2010.

Over an internet phone call with the paper, Turner explained his actions as driven by as an attempt to see his daughter, at the centre of a custody battle with his wife, whom he met and married in Kuwait, as they go through divorce proceedings in Kuwait.

Turner’s marital problems appear to have started when the couple took in a runaway maid to help his wife who was pregnant with their baby.

The maid later accused Turner of offering her 40 Kuwaiti dinars (Dh507) in exchange for sex.

Although Turner denied the charge, the couple proceeded to separate. His difficulties were compounded when he lost his position as a supervisor for American contractor CSA Kuwait, and he had to leave Kuwait to take up a new position in Texas, while a divorce case was filed.

His lawyer this week said that “Turner came to Kuwait from Qatar around 18 months ago to be reunited with the Filipina he met and loved in Doha.”

“He got a job with the American army and the two got married. However, their relationship deteriorated after he was sacked, and the wife filed for divorce and the custody of their baby daughter,” the lawyer said.

Seeking to win the custody battle, Turner hired Al Banwan.

“He told me that he would commit suicide if I could not do anything for him,” the lawyer said.

A court ruled that he could see his daughter for two hours a week, but he was infuriated by the decision and he tried to attack his wife’s lawyer, Al Banwan said, adding that Turner was more than 2 metres tall and weighed more than 170 kilogrammes.

“Afterwards, I heard nothing from him or about him until I received an email from his mother claiming that Orlando died in a car accident and that his wife and daughter should travel to the US to get $300,000 from the insurance company,” Al Banwan said.

“However, a few days later, I received an email from Orlando telling me that he concocted the death story to lure his wife into going to the US so that he could keep his daughter. He said that his plan did not succeed because his wife could not believe the story about the accident.”

The lawyer said that he was recently contacted by Orlando who sounded “hysterical”.

“He told me that he would not leave the matters as they were and that he would talk about explosives. He also threatened to commit suicide,” Al Banwan said.

However, Turner on Wednesday denied that he talked about attempting to commit suicide and that his wife worked in Qatar.

But, Al Banwan insisted that the suicide threats were true.

“He made them in the presence of my staff and they can testify to that. It is clear that he under social and personal pressure,” he told Al Watan. “He is the one who told me in my office about his wife previously working in Qatar. There is no interest for me to mention that she worked there or in any other country,” the lawyer said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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