Saudi Arabia issues verdicts in Khashoggi killing, sentences 8 to prison
Eight people believed to have been among more than a dozen Saudi agents sent to the country’s consulate in Turkey where they were accused of killing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi were convicted Monday and sentenced to prison terms.
The Washington Post reported that the unnamed defendants were sentenced to a variety of prison terms ranging from seven to 20 years, with prosecutors calling the case against those involved against the Khashoggi killing finished.
The ruling Monday comes after two top aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were acquitted last year after Saudi prosecutors linked them to the murder. The crown prince’s involvement in the killing was widely suspected due to Khashoggi’s frequent criticism of the Saudi government and the crown prince in particular in his writings.
Monday’s end to the case also comes after a former Saudi intelligence official poured gasoline on the criticism against Crown Prince Mohammed earlier this year with an explosive lawsuit accusing the crown prince of sending a hit squad to Canada in the hopes of killing him, adding that FBI agents warned that he could be pursued within the U.S. as well.
The crown prince has publicly denied ordering the Post columnist’s murder, but told CBS News’s Norah O’Donnell in an interview that he takes “responsibility” for it.
“Absolutely not. This was a heinous crime. But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government,” he told O’Donnell in 2019 when asked directly if he ordered the murder.
“When a crime is committed against a Saudi citizen by officials, working for the Saudi government, as a leader I must take responsibility. This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future,” the Saudi crown prince continued at the time.
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