Saudi Arabia has been accused of engaging in a mockery of justice by shielding the alleged masterminds of the killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after a court effectively exonerated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s inner circle of involvement in the murder.
The gruesome killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 stunned Saudi Arabia’s western allies, plunging the kingdom into its worst diplomatic crisis since the 9/11 attacks.
Five of the 11 officially unidentified men on trial were sentenced to death and three more were handed a combined 24 years in prison, the deputy public prosecutor, Shalaan bin Rajih Shalaan, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday.
The investigation also concluded that Saud al-Qahtani, one of the crown prince’s most trusted advisers, was investigated and found to have no proven involvement in Khashoggi’s death, Shalaan added.
The findings contradict the conclusion of the CIA and other western intelligence agencies that Prince Mohammed directly ordered Khashoggi’s assassination, an allegation the kingdom has strenuously denied. Qa
htani, along with 16 other Saudis, was sanctioned by the US last year for his alleged role in the killing. [Continue reading…]