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

  • 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.

 


Saudi female lawyers praise Justice Ministry’s efforts to empower women

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Updated 25 min 51 sec ago

Saudi female lawyers praise Justice Ministry’s efforts to empower women

  • Compared to the previous status of women at the Justice Ministry, Al-Daknan said this latest step was a significant achievement

JEDDAH: Several Saudi female lawyers have praised the Justice Ministry’s decision to appoint 100 female notaries as a step forward for women’s legal empowerment.
“We appreciate Justice Minister Walid Al-Samani’s … rapid steps toward empowering women to work in all available jobs, considering them viable components of society, particularly in the justice sector,” lawyer Njnood Qasim told Arab News.
She added: “We hope that it will be the beginning of an important and most anticipated step, which is the appointment of a Saudi woman as a judge.”
Qasim noted that many qualified women have been recruited by the Justice Ministry for the first time in history to work in the fields of law, Shariah, sociology, administration and technology.
Lawyer Rana Al-Daknan, meanwhile, said she thought women could fill any role in society. “An ambassador, an undersecretary, a minister, but I think no woman should be a minister before women become judges,” she told Arab News.
Compared to the previous status of women at the Justice Ministry, Al-Daknan said this latest step was a significant achievement, but added: “Of course we are looking for more, though that does not mean we should not appreciate this step.”

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The newly appointed female notaries will officially start their work next Sunday with a specialized training program lasting three months.

Al-Daknan explained that women first began obtaining notary licenses in 2018, and the services they offer include documentation, transferring property, authorizing powers of attorney submissions and other services.
“The next step for women is working with conciliation committees, which is known in other countries as being a magistrate. Thankfully it is possible now for both men and women to obtain conciliation licenses, where they will assume the role of the judge,” Al-Daknan said. “I personally have applied and (am) in the process to obtain this license.”
Another lawyer, Abrar Shaket, told Arab News that this move was the natural result of the Kingdom’s steps to empower its female citizens under King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.