February 12, 2021 – A U.S. citizen arrived in the United States today after being ordered detained and removed from Bahrain to the United States for the alleged murder of his mother, a Department of Defense civilian employee working in Bahrain.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur of the District of Maryland and Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Oakes of the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Middle East Field Office made the announcement.
Giovonni Pope, 27, was charged with murder by way of criminal complaint in the District of Maryland Tuesday. U.S. military authorities in Bahrain arrested Pope and his initial appearance was held via video teleconference, at which time he was ordered detained and removed to the United States pursuant to the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act.
According to the complaint, on Jan. 31, Pope stabbed his mother, causing her death. In the hours that followed, Pope purchased a plane ticket back to the United States and attempted to clean the residence and dispose of evidence of the crime.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Brian Morgan and James Hepburn of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham of the District of Maryland. The case is being investigated by the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance.
The charges in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.