Bail denied for former star witness in Hillsborough heiress murder case

ByEd Walsh via KGO logo
Thursday, February 13, 2020
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Olivier Adella, the former star witness in the murder case against Hillsborough heiress Tiffany Li and her boyfriend Kaveh Bayat, is fighting back against new charges that he committed passport fraud.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- A federal judge Wednesday refused to allow bail for Olivier Adella, the former star witness in the murder case against Tiffany Li and Kaveh Bayat for the 2016 killing of Keith Green.

Adella is being charged with passport fraud. Federal authorities allege that his real name is Mustapha Traore. He is scheduled to appear for a hearing in federal court in San Francisco next week.

ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Former star witness in Hillsborough heiress murder trial fighting back against new federal fraud allegations

"The court agrees that in light of all the evidence in the record, no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure Traore's appearance," wrote US District Judge Vince Chhabria in a court order obtained by ABC7 News.

Judge Chhabria was appointed by President Obama in 2013 and is best known for his handling of the Monsanto case.

Li was found not-guilty of murder in November but a San Mateo County jury deadlocked on the charges against Bayat.

He was released in December after the district attorney's office declined to retry him. Adella was ordered freed from jail last month but was immediately taken into custody by federal authorities to face passport fraud charges.

RELATED: MURDER MYSTERY TIMELINE: The disappearance of Millbrae resident Keith Green

In an exclusive interview with ABC7 I-Team reporter Dan Noyes, Adella said he reluctantly agreed to dispose of Green's body after Li and Bayat showed up at his home with the body.

He said he feared for his life and his family's safety.

He also said he was afraid that if he didn't go along, the couple may try to pin the murder on him. He was going to testify against the couple but prosecutors tossed him off the case after he contacted a defense witness.

Li and Bayat's defense lawyers called Adella a "grifter" and argued that he killed Green in a botched kidnapping.