Saudi Court Sentences Five To Death For Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi

A in on Monday sentenced five to over the of last year.

, a prominent of the Saudi Palace, was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in the Turkish of by a of Saudi agents.

The Saudi authorities said it was the result of a “rogue operation” and put 11 unnamed individuals on .

The Criminal Court sentenced five individuals to death for “committing and directly participating in the murder of the victim”, according to the prosecution’s statement.

Three others were handed sentences totalling years for “covering up this and violating the ”, while the remaining three were found not guilty.

The 59-year- journalist, a -based for the Post, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, , on October 2, 2018, to obtain papers he needed to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

Khashoggi, , never came out alive to meet Cengiz, and his body was mutilated and deposed off to a local Turkish collaborator, according to the Saudi account.

According to a statement by the Saudi public , a total of 31 individuals were investigated over the killing and 21 of them were arrested. Eleven were eventually referred to trial at the Riyadh Criminal Court and the public sought the death penalty for five of them.

, the Special Rapporteur, had in June claimed that the five people facing the death penalty were Fahad Shabib Albalawi; Turki Muserref Alshehri; Waleed Abdullah Alshehri; Abdulaziz Mutreb, an ; and Dr Salah Mohammed Tubaigy, a forensic with the interior ministry.

However, Saud al-Qahtani, a senior to the , who was sacked and investigated over the killing, and Ahmad Asiri, a former Deputy Intelligence , were not charged for the murder. they were both seen by the international as the brains behind the killing of Khashoggi.

Also not convicted was the Crown , who right groups and advocates said “definitely” issued the instruction to his subordinates to kill the outspoken journalist.

The prince denied any involvement, but in October he said he took “full responsibility as a in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi ”.

Shalaan Shalaan, Saudi Arabia’s deputy public prosecutor, at a press conference on Monday said the public prosecution’s had shown that “ was no premeditation to kill at the beginning of the mission”.

“The showed that the killing was not premeditated… The killing was in the spur of the , when the of the negotiating team inspected the premises of the consulate and realised that it was impossible to move the victim to a place to resume negotiations.

“The head of the negotiating team and the perpetrators then discussed and agreed to kill the victim inside the consulate,” he said.

But Callamard, who authored a UN-backed report in June which stated that Saudi Arabia and the Crown Prince were responsible for the murder, said in a post on that the investigation and trial lacked credibility.

“Bottom line: the hit- are guilty, sentenced to death. The masterminds not only walk free. They have barely been touched by the investigation and the trial,” her tweet read.

Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee, described the Saudi verdict as  “not acceptable”.

said the trial, which took place behind closed doors, did not meet international standards and that the Saudi authorities had “obstructed meaningful ”.

The Turkish foreign ministry said the decision of the Saudi court was “far from meeting the expectations of both our country and the international community to on the murder with its dimensions and deliver justice”.

The public prosecution said it would decide whether to the court’s rulings and decide whether to appeal. The death sentences must be upheld by the and the Supreme Court.

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