A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death Monday for the killing of Washington Post columnist and royal family critic Jamal Khashoggi.
The grisly torturous slaying of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul drew international condemnation and casted a cloud of suspicion over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Three other people were found guilty by Riyadh’s criminal court of covering up the crime and were sentenced to a combined 24 years in prison.
In all, 11 people were put on trial in Saudi Arabia over the killing. The names of those found guilty were not disclosed by the government.
Executions in the kingdom are carried out by beheading, sometimes in public. All the verdicts can still be appealed.
A small number of diplomats, including from Turkey, as well as members of Khashoggi’s family were allowed to attend the nine court sessions, though independent media were barred.
However, the trial concluded the killing was not premeditated? That finding is in line with the Saudi government’s official explanation, which has been called into question by evidence that a hit team of Saudi agents with tools was sent to dispatch Khashoggi.
While the case in Saudi Arabia has largely concluded, questions linger outside Riyadh about the crown prince’s culpability in the slaying. The brother of the victim, Adnan Khashoggi used to be a well known notorious arms dealer.
Amnesty International pronounced the outcome a “whitewash.” Agnes Callamard, who investigated the killing for the United Nations, condemned the trial as a “mockery of justice.”
“The fact that that the chain of command and the state have not been investigated means that the system that made it possible for Jamal Khashoggi to be killed has not been touched.
Saudi Arabia over the past months has opened the previously closed-off country to tourists and travelers from around the world as part of a push to boost the economy and change perceptions of the kingdom.
Yahoo / ABC flash Point News 2019.