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Five to die for Khashoggi murder I'm confident that the Saudi judicial system is fair: Salah
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 12 - 2019

RIYADH — A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced five people to death for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and three others were sentenced to a total of 24 years in jail, the Public Prosecutor said,
According to a statement issued by Public Prosecutor, the investigations involved a total of 31 persons, of whom 21 were taken into custody.
Khashoggi, a well-known Saudi journalist, was murdered on Oct. 20, 2018 at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. He was visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
The sentences were announced by the Public Prosecutor at a press conference in Riyadh following the court ruling.
All those suspected of involvement in the murder case were interrogated by the Public Prosecution. Those indicted were transferred to court. Those not indicted were released, the Public Prosecutor said.
Saud Al-Qahtani, former Royal Court Adviser, was investigated in the case but was not charged, the Public Prosecution said.
Former Deputy Intelligence Chief Ahmed Al-Asiri had been investigated and indicted then transferred to court. The court's verdict was that he was to be released due for the lack of sufficient evidence.
The investigations concluded that there was no premeditation to commit the murder. "The murder was spontaneous," said the Public Prosecution.
"When the leader of the negotiations team inspected the consulate and he discovered that it was impossible to transfer the victim Jamal Khashoggi to a safe place to complete the negotiations with him, it was agreed upon and discussed between the head of the negotiations team and the perpetrators to kill the victim inside the consulate."
Deputy Prosecutor Shalaan Al-Shalaan also told a press conference, "The public prosecution's investigation showed that the killing was not premeditated at the start of this mission, but rather that it occurred in the heat of the moment."
Representatives of the embassies of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as a representative from Turkey and Human Rights Commission (HRC) were present during the trials in addition to members of the media, according to the Public Prosecution.
Khashoggi's sons and their lawyer were also present during the trials.
Following the Public Prosecution press conference, Jamal Khashoggi's son, Salah, said, he's confident that the Saudi judicial system is fair in a tweet.
The Public Prosecution said only one letter rogatory was received out of 13 requested from the Turkish side to provide evidence they have from the crime scene.
The one letter rogatory received was with regards to the Saudi Consul Mohammed Al-Otaibi who was released by the Public Prosecution.
"[The] letter rogatory included testimony by Turkish citizens that the Saudi consul was with them on the day the crime was committed," said the Public Prosecution.
Different sentences totaling 24 years were handed down to three individuals "for their role in covering up this crime and violating the law," the Public Prosecution added in a statement.
"This was a heinous crime," Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman told CBS "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired in September.
At the time of the murder, the authorities arrested 18 Saudis for investigation and the Public Prosecution subsequently indicted 11 people. The court found three people not guilty, the statement said.
The names of those involved in the murder of Khashoggi will be released after the final verdict, the Public Prosecution said. — With input from Al-Arabiya English

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