Reporters Without Borders said that the Saudi regime does not respect international justice after announcing the acquittal of the two main accused of the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Christophe Delaware, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, condemned the rulings announced in the Khashoggi case, saying that “justice was not respected… and this trial did not respect internationally recognized principles of justice.”
“These provisions can be a way to silence witnesses to the assassination forever,” he added, without elaborating on these witnesses.
And he added, “We can question the nature of these decisions… The Kingdom (Saudi Arabia) cannot rebuild its image by dealing with justice in such a way.”
In turn, the Association of Arab Journalists’s House commented on these provisions, saying that it is “not to show the truth or to reassure public opinion, but it is clear that it is in order to close the file of this tragic incident”, and that it is “not enough and motivates us to re-ask the question we asked Time and time again: Where is the body of Jamal Khashoggi?
And the association’s statement added that “as long as you can make sure of the involvement of 7 criminals, and therefore it is natural that you will have learned from them where the body was hidden.”
The Assembly stressed that “it will not deter us from pursuing the search for the truth”, as “it is known according to what was reflected in the reports of the United Nations, and what was reflected in the media, that this crime occurred with the involvement of high-ranking and professional Saudi personalities, and that it happened from premeditated and determined work with organized and collective work.
She added, “If we consider the other team that came to erase the evidence after the crime, we will find that there are an infinite number of those involved in the crime who are employees of the Saudi state.”
A spokesman for the Public Prosecution Office affiliated with the Saudi regime announced today that death sentences were imposed against five people, and three others were punished with 24 years imprisonment in the case of Khashoggi’s death.
The Public Prosecution added in a press conference that Saud al-Qahtani (former adviser to the crown prince), consul in Istanbul (Muhammad al-Otaibi), and Major General Ahmed Asiri (former deputy director of intelligence) were not charged with any charges and were released.
The Public Prosecution said that these rulings issued by the Criminal Court in Riyadh are preliminary, not final, and can be appealed. She added that the court had responded to requests for disciplinary punishment against three of the accused.
The spokesman for the Public Prosecution, Shaalan Al-Shaalan, said that the consul in Istanbul was released after receiving a judicial delegation from the Turkish side that included Turkish testimonies of his presence with them on the day of the crime, and that Asiri was subject to an investigation and a decision was issued to release him because his conviction was not proven in the case.
Al-Shaalan added – at the press conference – that Al-Qahtani was investigated and he was not charged in the case because there was no evidence against him, and that the murder of Khashoggi was not done with prior intention.
The Turkish authorities had accused the Saudi regime of sending a team of 15 people – including security officials – to kill Khashoggi in Istanbul after it was lured to the consulate.
Ankara has demanded that the suspects be extradited for trial in Turkey, but the Al Saud authorities have refused and announced an investigation into the case and the prosecution of those involved, according to Saudi law.