Al-Jubeir: Saudi crown prince ‘did not order Khashoggi killing’

Adel Al-Jubeir told US media that no order was given to conduct the Khashoggi killing. (AFP)
Updated 08 February 2019

Al-Jubeir: Saudi crown prince ‘did not order Khashoggi killing’

  • Saudi Arabia late last year indicted 11 people for the killing at the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul
  • Minister says it was “preposterous” for other countries to think that they can dictate the handling of the case

WASHINGTON: Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Friday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not order the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We know that this was not an authorized operation. There was no order given to conduct this operation,” Al-Jubeir told members of the US media in Washington.

Al-Jubeir said he could not comment on a New York Times story on Thursday in which anonymous sources alleged the crown prince made a threat against Khashoggi in 2017.

Saudi Arabia late last year indicted 11 people for the killing at the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against five of them.

The minister said it was “preposterous” for other countries to think that they can dictate what the Saudi leadership should do in handling the case.

He said the Saudi judiciary is committed to holding those involved in the killing of Khashoggi to account.

Al-Jubeir said he hoped the US Congress would take a step back and await the results of the investigation into Khashoggi’s death.

The Trump administration has said there is no direct evidence of the crown prince’s  involvement, and has stressed the vital importance of relations between Washington and Riyadh.

Al-Jubeir met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington late on Thursday. During the meeting, they discussed the strategic partnership between the two countries as well as the latest regional developments.

Earlier, Al-Jubeir affirmed the Kingdom’s ongoing commitment to the objectives of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh in working together to combat terrorism and extremism.

“My country’s government will continue its fight against terrorism and its sponsoring countries, and pledges to support all international and regional efforts to eliminate terrorist organizations and the activities of destabilizing states in the region.”

The minister added: “We believe that our war against terrorism must include combating its funding and rhetoric that justifies violence and terrorism.”

 


Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

Updated 01 October 2020

Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

  • It will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools

JEDDAH: Violations of Saudi Arabia’s anti-sexual harassment laws could be punished by “naming and shaming” following a decision by the Kingdom’s Shoura Council to approve a defamation penalty.

The council voted in favor of the penalty during its session on Wednesday after previously rejecting the move in March this year.

Council member Latifah Al-Shaalan said the proposal to include the penalty was sent by the Saudi Cabinet.

Saudi lawyer Njood Al-Qassim said she agrees with the move, adding that it will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools.

“The penalty will be imposed according to a court ruling under the supervision of judges, and according to the gravity of the crime and its impact on society,” Al-Qassim told Arab News.

“This will be a deterrent against every harasser and molester,” she said.

Al-Qassim said that legal experts are required to explain the system and its penalties to the public.

“The Public Prosecution has clarified those that may be subject to punishment for harassment crimes, including the perpetrator, instigator and accessory to the crime, the one who agreed with the harasser, malicious report provider, and the person who filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit,” she added.

“The Public Prosecution also confirmed that attempted harassment requires half the penalty prescribed for the crime,” said Al-Qassim.

In May 2018, the Shoura Council and Cabinet approved a measure criminalizing sexual harassment under which offenders will be fined up to SR100,000 ($26,660) and jailed for a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of the crime. 

In the most severe cases, where the victims are children or disabled, for example, violators will face prison terms of up to five years and/or a maximum penalty of SR300,000.

Incidents that have been reported more than once will be subject to the maximum punishment. 

The law seeks to combat harassment crimes, particularly those targeting children under 18 and people with special needs.

Witnesses are also encouraged to report violations and their identities will remain confidential.

The law defines sexual harassment as words or actions that hint at sexuality toward one person from another, or that harms the body, honor or modesty of a person in any way. It takes into account harassment in public areas, workplaces, schools, care centers, orphanages, homes and on social media.

“The legislation aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual’s privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” a statement from the Shoura Council said.

Council member Eqbal Darandari, who supports the law, said on Twitter that the defamation penalty has proven its effectiveness in crimes in which a criminal exploits a person’s trust.

“The defamation of one person is a sufficient deterrent to the rest,” she said.

Social media activist Hanan Abdullah told Arab News the decision “is a great deterrent for every harasser since some fear for their personal and family’s reputation, and won’t be deterred except through fear of defamation.”

The move will protect women from “uneducated people who believe that whoever leaves her house deserves to be attacked and harassed,” she said.

“Anyone who is unhappy with this decision should look at their behavior.”