Death sentence for five, jail terms for three in Khashoggi murder trial

Death sentence for five, jail terms for three in Khashoggi murder trial
Five people were sentenced to death over Jamal’s Khashoggi murder. (AFP)
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Updated 24 December 2019

Death sentence for five, jail terms for three in Khashoggi murder trial

Death sentence for five, jail terms for three in Khashoggi murder trial
  • Announcing Riyadh court’s decision, deputy prosecutor said probe showed the ‘killing was not premeditated’

RIYADH: Five people have been sentenced to death and three more were given jail terms by Riyadh’s criminal court over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
Khashoggi was killed when he visited the Saudi Consulate in October in Istanbul.
Reading out the verdict in the trial in Riyadh on Monday, Shalaan Al-Shalaan, the Saudi deputy public prosecutor and spokesman, said the court dismissed the charges against the remaining three of the 11 defendants who had been on trial, finding them not guilty.

Representatives from the Khashoggi family and the Turkish embassy were present during the announcement of the decision.
The three defendants given prison terms totalling 24 years were found guilty “for their role in covering up this crime and violating the law.”
No names were released for those who were convicted, as they could still appeal the ruling.
Al-Shalaan said the investigations proved there was no “prior enmity” between those convicted and Khashoggi.
“The investigation showed that the killing was not premeditated ... The decision was taken at the spur of the moment,” he said.
He said that when the team saw that it would be impossible to transfer Khashoggi to a safe place to continue negotiating, they decided to kill him.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, meanwhile, posted on Twitter: “The killing of Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible crime. Mr Khashoggi’s family deserve to see justice done for his brutal murder. Saudi Arabia must ensure all of those responsible are held to account and that such an atrocity can never happen again.”

 

“It was agreed, in consultation between the head of the negotiating team and the culprits, to kill Jamal Khashoggi inside the consulate,” Al-Shalaan said in response to questions from journalists.
Among those interrogated was Saud Qahtani, a former royal court advisor. Al-Shalaan said Qahtani was investigated but not charged and had been released.
He also said Ahmed Al-Asiri, the deputy intelligence chief, was tried and released due to insufficient evidence.
The Riyadh criminal court exonerated the Saudi consul-general in Istanbul at that time, Mohammed Al-Otaibi, and two other individuals.
According to Al-Shalaan, Turkish witnesses said Al-Otaibi had been with them on the day of the crime.
Al-Otaibi was released after the verdicts were announced, according to Saudi state TV.
The public prosecution will review the court’s decision and decide whether it will file an appeal at the Appellate Court, the state news agency SPA reported.
Up to 31 individuals were included in the investigation, 21 of whom were arrested and 10 called in for questioning without arrest, according to the prosecutor’s statement.
The statement said the court held nine sessions in the Khashoggi case attended by representatives of the international community and of Khashoggi’s family.

 


Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia
Updated 10 min 51 sec ago

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said it had intercepted a Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait, Al Ekhbariya TV reported early Thursday.
The coalition, which is fighting to restore the legitimacy of the internationally recognized government in Yemen, said it will take all measures to protect civilians in accordance with international law.
The Iran-back Houthi militia have consistently launched attacks against the Kingdom. 

The coalition said the attacks by the Houthis, who seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa in a violent coup in 2014, amount to war crimes.

 


DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Pakistan ambassador meets Eastern Province governor

DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Pakistan ambassador meets Eastern Province governor
Updated 30 min 4 sec ago

DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Pakistan ambassador meets Eastern Province governor

DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Pakistan ambassador meets Eastern Province governor

Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz called on Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif on the occasion of the end of his diplomatic duty in Riyadh.
The governor welcomed the ambassador at a reception, and they talked about the good relations between the two countries and various ways to further enhance mutual cooperation, said the Pakistani Embassy.
Ejaz thanked Prince Saud for the warm hospitality extended to him, and expressed his gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for rendering all assistance to Pakistani expatriates during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The ambassador also thanked Prince Saud for his support, and for looking after Pakistani expatriates residing in the province. “The Pakistani populace was very happy under the governor’s kind patronage,” Ejaz told Arab News.
Prince Saud praised the Pakistani community for being loyal and hard-working, and said the two countries and peoples have cemented an unbreakable bond of friendship.
He expressed certainty that bilateral relations will continue to grow, wishing Ejaz well for his future assignments and looking forward to maintaining contact.
Offering his thanks to all those who helped him carry out his work successfully, Ejaz said Saudi Arabia is a wonderful country in which he had a wonderful experience serving his compatriots.
He added that his successful stint in the Kingdom was mainly due to the continuous cooperation received from the Saudi government, the private sector and his colleagues.


NEOM launches 3 initiatives to support UN Sustainable Development Goals

NEOM launches 3 initiatives to support UN Sustainable Development Goals
Updated 22 April 2021

NEOM launches 3 initiatives to support UN Sustainable Development Goals

NEOM launches 3 initiatives to support UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • The initiatives were launched to celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day
  • Department will work alongside MiSK Leadership, CyberX and Digital Giving programs

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s NEOM, a futuristic $500 billion megacity development, announced on Wednesday that it has launched three initiatives represented by the Social Responsibility Department.
The initiatives aim to support the sustainable development goals, celebrate the World Creativity and Innovation Day, and encourage the participation of the local community in developing innovative solutions that would support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The department said that it will work alongside the MiSK Leadership, CyberX and Digital Giving programs, and with the University of Tabuk and the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, to launch these initiatives.
The first initiative is represented in the third batch of the Spark initiative and includes an innovative six-week training program designed to enhance the spirit of entrepreneurship among Saudi youth, the department said in a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency.
It introduces participants to the critical steps involved in starting a business and supports them with the necessary tools to form bright business ideas. From there, participants can turn them into vivid and realistic businesses for a sustainable future, in order for them to be able to present them to investors later.
The program is in support of the Kingdom’s drive to increase the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in driving economic growth.
Last year, two batches of the program were successfully launched, benefiting 300 graduates, including 10 winners who passed the final round of Spark Tank.
The second initiative is the NEOM Generation Innovation Challenge, which will be held in partnership with the Industrial and Robot Innovation Center at the University of Tabuk. It involves challenging students from all over the Kingdom to present their ideas in the fields of water, energy, media, entertainment, transportation, health and food.
The ideas and their solutions must be centralized using artificial intelligence (AI) systems and be implementable in NEOM’s corresponding sectors. The participants will be evaluated based on their creativity, AI integration, and the extent to which their ideas align with NEOM’s approaches.
The third initiative is the CyberX Bootcamps, a non-profit platform for electronic awareness and digital knowledge under the supervision of the Digital Giving initiative. A training camp on AI and machine learning for youth will be held.
The department said it will spread awareness of the SDGs and provide opportunities for the local community to learn and gain important knowledge on sustainable development through quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and societies, as well as partnerships to achieve the goals.


Saudi aviation authority tightens COVID-19 controls at airports

The General Authority of Civil Aviation calls on everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 preventative measures. (SPA)
The General Authority of Civil Aviation calls on everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 preventative measures. (SPA)
Updated 22 April 2021

Saudi aviation authority tightens COVID-19 controls at airports

The General Authority of Civil Aviation calls on everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 preventative measures. (SPA)
  • GACA introduced screening points and appointed observers to ensure measures are fully implemented

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority, in cooperation with security services, has stepped up inspections and control visits to airports and other authority buildings and facilities to monitor violations of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has also introduced screening points to measure temperatures or check health data through the Tawakkalna app. It has also appointed a protocol officer for each facility and more than 250 observers to ensure that precautionary measures are fully implemented and followed.
In addition, GACA said it has increased educational awareness messages, and told businesses and other organizations operating in airports to adhere to health precautions.
GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duaij stressed the importance of continuing to adhere to safety protocols set by the Ministry of Health — including wearing face masks at all times, continuous sterilization efforts, procedures to prevent overcrowding, and maintaining social distancing — and warned against complacency.
He said that only individuals registered with the Tawakkalna app will be allowed entry to authority buildings. He urged everyone to follow “the recommended health measures in order to preserve the gains achieved in combating the coronavirus” in the Kingdom which, he added, would not have been achieved without “the generous support from the Saudi leadership that placed citizens’ health and safety first and foremost.”
GACA added that it is working with the Ministry of Health to implement precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus at airports, and has put in place a package of health measures that meet global health and safety standards.


Saudi aid agency delivers $1.5 million medical aid package to Pakistan

Saudi aid agency delivers $1.5 million medical aid package to Pakistan
Updated 21 April 2021

Saudi aid agency delivers $1.5 million medical aid package to Pakistan

Saudi aid agency delivers $1.5 million medical aid package to Pakistan

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has delivered a special medical aid package worth $1.5 million to help combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pakistan.
The consignment was officially handed over — on behalf of the center — by the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, to Akhtar Nawaz, chairman of the Pakistani National Disaster Management Authority, at the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad.
Items included 25,000 sterile surgical suits, 125,000 nonsterile surgical suits, 188,000 KN95 masks, 1,925,000 surgical masks, 9,500 nitrile gloves, and 46 respirators.
Nawaz thanked KSrelief for the medical equipment which he said would help his country’s fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. Saudi Arabia, through KSrelief, supports numerous health programs around the world aimed at tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.