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US court sues Saudi crown prince for murder of Khashoggi

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Washington — A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a case against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying the prince has legal immunity in the case. It yielded to the claims of the Biden administration.

Judge John D. Bates of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said that Bates “Credible Claims He Was Involved in Khashoggi’s Murder.”

A team of Saudi officials killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. His Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, wrote critically of the harsh ways of his Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman takes a seat before a working lunch at the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, on November 15, 2022.

Leon Neal, Poole via AP


US intelligence has concluded that the Saudi crown prince ordered the operation against Khashoggi. The killing has created a rift between the Biden administration and Saudi Arabia, which the administration has been trying to resolve in recent months. ukrainian war.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage. The lawsuit was filed by his fiancé Hatice Cengiz, who had been waiting outside the consulate without him knowing he was going to be killed, and a rights group founded by Khashoggi before he died. was also named as an accomplice.

The Biden administration last month declared that Prince Mohammed is immune from US lawsuits due to his status as Saudi Arabia’s prime minister.

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Jamal Khashoggi stands by a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, on December 15, 2014.

Muhammad Al Sheikh/AFP via Getty Images


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman nominated his son Prince Mohammed as prime minister a few weeks ago. It was a temporary exemption from the Royal Government Act with the King as Prime Minister.

Khashoggi’s fiancée and his rights group claimed the move was a ruse to protect the prince from US courts.

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Bates expressed “discomfort” over the status of Prince Mohammed’s new title, writing in Tuesday’s order that “there is a strong argument that plaintiffs’ allegations against bin Salman and the other defendants are valid.” .

But the government’s ruling that Prince Mohammed was immune has forced him to dismiss him as the plaintiff, the judge wrote. He also dismissed two other Saudi plaintiffs, saying US courts lacked jurisdiction over them.

The Biden administration has argued for long-standing jurisprudence on the immunity of heads of government from other nations’ courts and, in some circumstances, has demanded protection for the prince as prime minister despite his recent acquisition of the title. .

The Biden administration has spared Prince Mohammed from government penalties in the incident, again citing sovereign immunity. Rights groups and Saudi exiles could give the crown prince and other authoritarian rulers around the world the green light for future human rights abuses by holding Prince Mohammed accountable for Khashoggi’s murder. claimed it could.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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