Saudi Arabia court jails eight over Jamal Khashoggi killing

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A Saudi Arabian court on Monday issued a final ruling in the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sentencing eight defendants for between seven and 20 years in prison, according to state media reports. Five of the convicts were sentenced to 20 years in prison, one for 10 years and two others were jailed for seven years.

The Saudi Public Prosecution announced that the verdict is final and that the criminal trial was now closed. As per the official Saudi Press Agency, none of the defendants were named during the verdict.Khashoggi, 59, was killed at the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, where he had reportedly gone for completing some paperwork.

Monday’s verdict has come after Khashoggi’s sons in May had said that the family had “pardoned” their father’s murderers which further spared five of the convicts from the death penalty under the Kingdom’s law. In December 2019, five men were sentenced to death while another three were given a total of 24 years in prison for their involvement in the journalist’s killing.

The Saudi trial had also concluded that the killing was not premeditated which paved the way for the Khashoggi family to forgive the journalist’s killers months later. Speaking to Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper on Monday, the Khashoggi family’s lawyer Motasem Khashoggi said that the family has welcomed the “fair and deterrent” ruling of the court in the case.

However, Khashoggi’s Turkish fianceHatice Cengiz expressed dissent over the verdict, asserting that those eight sent to jail were not the only ones responsible for the murder. She took to Twitter and posted a statement, calling the Saudi court ruling a “farce”. Adding that the ruling “makes a complete mockery of justice”, she said that the “international community will not accept this farce.”

“The Saudi authorities are closing the case without the world knowing the truth of who is responsible for Jamal’s murder,” Cengiz wrote in her statement.Dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing gained massive global attention, erupting prominent backlash against Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, the verdict was welcomed by many Saudis on social media.

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