In the murder case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the judiciary in Saudi Arabia has sentenced five accused to death. On the other hand, two senior advisors to Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman were exonerated, said the Prosecutor General in Riyadh on Monday. Journalist Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last year.
“The court has sentenced five men to death who were directly involved in the murder”, the prosecutor said. Of the 11 defendants, three were sentenced to a total of 24 years in prison. All others were acquitted.
The allegations against Saud al Qahtani, one of the crown prince’s closest confidants, were not sustained “due to insufficient evidence”. The former deputy Secret Service chief, Ahmed al Asiri, was also acquitted.
“Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last year”
The Saudi Arabian prosecutor said during the investigation that al Asiri was said to have overseen the murder following instructions from the royal media advisor al Qahtani. Both al Asiri and al Qahtani were removed from their posts after the murder of Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was murdered on October 2, 2018, in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul by a team of agents from Saudi Arabia. UN investigators found evidence of the involvement of the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, he denies any knowledge of the plan to murder the government critic.
The murder of Khashoggi had made headlines worldwide last year and had seriously damaged the image of Saudi Arabia and its ambitious crown prince.