Khashoggi trial verdict a 'whitewash', says Amnesty

By agency reporter
December 24, 2019

Responding to a Saudi Arabian court’s sentencing of five people to death and three others to prison for the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said: “This verdict is a whitewash which brings neither justice nor the truth for Jamal Khashoggi and his loved ones. 

“The trial has been closed to the public and to independent monitors, with no information available as to how the investigation was carried out. 

“The verdict fails to address the Saudi authorities’ involvement in this devastating crime or clarify the location of Jamal Khashoggi’s remains. Saudi Arabia’s courts routinely deny defendants access to lawyers and condemn people to death following grossly unfair trials. 

“Given the lack of transparency from the Saudi authorities, and in the absence of an independent judiciary, only an international, independent and impartial investigation can serve justice for Jamal Khashoggi.” 

The Saudi Arabian Public Prosecution’s findings into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October 2018 were published by the Saudi Press Agency on 23 December 2019.  The trial involved 31 people, 11 of whom were charged and eight were convicted on 23 December 2019. Five were sentenced to death and three were sentenced to prison terms. They were tried and sentenced before the Criminal Court in Riyadh. The verdict is subject to an appeal.

In June, a UN report released by Agnes Callamard, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded that Khashoggi was the victim of “an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under human rights law”. Saudi Arabia failed to cooperate with Ms Callamard during her investigation.

* Amnesty International https://www.amnesty.org.uk/

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