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Journalism watchdog files criminal complaint against Saudi crown prince

Journalism watchdog files criminal complaint against Saudi crown prince
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The journalism watchdog group Reporters without Borders on Monday filed a criminal complaint in Germany against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other officials over the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the detention of other journalists.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) filed the complaint with the German Public Prosecutor General of the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, addressing the Khashoggi murder and 34 other reporters, 33 of whom are still being jailed, according to an announcement from the group.

The complaint addresses the 35 specific cases and accuses bin Salman and other officials of “multiple counts of crimes against humanity, including willful killing, torture, sexual violence and coercion, enforced disappearance, unlawful deprivation of physical liberty, and persecution.”

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It focuses on five individuals — the crown prince, reported bin Salman adviser Saud Al-Qahtani and three other Saudi officials.

The charges were filed in Germany, RSF stated, because the “German judiciary is the best suited system to receive such a complaint, as German laws give them jurisdiction over core international crimes committed abroad, and German courts have already shown readiness and willingness to prosecute international criminals.”

The complaint follows last Friday’s release of a report by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, that found the crown prince, who is the kingdom’s de facto leader, “approved an operation … to capture or kill” Khashoggi.

In addition, Democratic Reps. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiMo Brooks calls Capitol rioters 'fools' House lawmakers fired up for hearing with tech CEOs Obama ties Biden priorities to ObamaCare anniversary: 'We've still got more work to do' MORE (N.J.), James McGovernJames (Jim) Patrick McGovernJournalism watchdog files criminal complaint against Saudi crown prince Democrats call for relief package to waive taxes on unemployment benefits Biden urged to reverse Pompeo-Trump move on Houthis MORE (Mass.) and Andy Kim (N.J.) introduced a bill on Monday calling for travel restrictions on the crown prince and the other officials.

If passed, the legislation would prohibit travel to the U.S. for all the Saudi officials named in the intelligence report, though the president could waive the rule by publicly notifying Congress.

It also asks the State Department to report if Saudi actions trigger an existing law that stops arms sales to countries that harass and intimidate people in the U.S. and force “regular reporting on Saudi government abuses each time the State Department is involved with U.S./Saudi joint military activities or arms transfers.”

--Updated at 9:07 a.m.