International criticism of the play announced by the Saudi regime regarding the trial of the murderers of journalist Jamal Khashoggi included the acquittal of senior aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The verdicts included the execution of five unidentified suspects believed to be young employees, and three others were sentenced to prison, while the advisers close to Crown Prince Saud Al-Qahtani, Ahmed Asiri, and the consul of the kingdom were acquitted in Istanbul at the time of the crime, Muhammad Al-Otaibi.
This ruling can only be seen as a flagrant cover-up of a serious crime against a Saudi citizen who despises that he sought justice, dignity and rights for his people.
The ruling is also an indication of a brute disregard for the principles of ethics and accountability without which no country or political system can hope to live, advance and prosper.
Indeed, the ruling failed to allow the kingdom to raise the cloud surrounding its international reputation following the assassination of “Khashoggi” in October 2018.
Avoiding identifying the real perpetrators of the assassination is evidence of the flawed justice system in the kingdom, which is essential for a modern and civilized country.
According to tribal customs, there should be no surprise if death row prisoners are released after payment of Diyya money with the blessing of the Royal Palace and the religious authorities, and then the detainees will be pardoned.
The “Khashoggi” family is expected to accept everything that is offered to complete the cover-up, not because they chose this path, but because refusing to do so would expose them to government oppression.
And the American newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, commented on the rulings issued by Riyadh that it would not erase the stain that was stuck in the Kingdom or its actual ruler, Mohammed bin Salman.
The newspaper referred to the Saudi Attorney General’s decision to execute five of the murders that occurred in the Saudi consulate on October 2, 2018 and imprisoned three others, and came at a time when the deputy did not reveal any of the convicted names that are believed to be among the agents in the lower ranks of the intelligence service Saudi Arabia, who killed Khashoggi when he was trying to obtain papers proving his divorce so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée.
However, the court acquitted two senior officials, Ahmed Asiri, the former deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and Saud al-Qahtani, a prominent adviser to the crown prince. The decision was based on the lack of evidence against them, which no one can believe or trust.
“We know that the public prosecutor himself said that Al-Qahtani asked for the kidnapping of Khashoggi because he is a threat to national security,” the newspaper says. The kidnapping team traveled to Turkey with a bone saw to use to cut the body of Khashoggi.
We must now believe that the decision to kill was taken quickly, and it will not raise the morale of workers in the ranks of the middle agents from Saudi intelligence.”
The newspaper says that the United States is obliged to deal with Muhammad bin Salman in an ugly region and confront Iran’s regional ambitions, but it is not obliged to give credibility to questionable interpretations.
Because the killing and its aftermath revealed the recklessness of Muhammad bin Salman and the need to wait to accept or trust his rule or cooperate with him in his adventures.