Khashoggi’s son: Verdict confirms family’s ‘confidence in Saudi judiciary’

Five people were sentenced to death and three others given extended jail time over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey. (AFP)
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Updated 25 December 2019

Khashoggi’s son: Verdict confirms family’s ‘confidence in Saudi judiciary’

  • Five people were sentenced to death and three others given extended jail time
  • Trial described as criminal case involving Saudi citizens, not ‘linked to politics or media’

RIYADH: Jamal Khashoggi’s son Salah on Monday welcomed the Saudi court’s verdict regarding his father's case and confirmed his family’s ‘confidence in the Saudi judiciary at all levels.’

“Fairness of the judiciary is based on two principles, justice and speedy litigation, so there is neither injustice nor procrastination,” Salah tweeted in Arabic.

“Today, the judiciary has done us justice, the children of the deceased, Jamal Khashoggi. We affirm our confidence in the Saudi judiciary at all levels, in serving and achieving justice. Thanks to God.”

The Saudi Human Rights Commission tweeted on Monday that the ruling in the Khashoggi case was an example of Saudi Arabia’s judicial independence and impartiality, adding that the trial of those accused was in line with international standards.

The head of the Commission, Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, said: “The preliminary ruling on the Khashoggi accusers on Monday is a clear testament to the independence, impartiality and competence of the Kingdom’s judiciary and a good conduct of justice and no impunity. These are principles stipulated in the Kingdom’s laws, foremost of which is the basic system of government.”

He said that this ruling came following several sessions, where the principles of a fair trial were adhered to, including ensuring that the parties involved in the case — including defendants, their attorneys and the Public Prosecution and the Prosecutor — were able to exercise their judicial rights.

“All their rights have been guaranteed by the Kingdom’s regulations that are in line with international standards for a fair trial,” he added.

Al-Awwad said the commission attended all the court sessions related to the trial and that it had followed due course.

He praised the court for taking on the trial, despite attempts to influence the course of justice from outside via media and other means.

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The UAE also lauded the verdicts on the Khashoggi case as proof of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to implement the law in all transparency and fairness.

The Kingdom’s judiciary has shown its independence, impartiality and efficiency when dealing with the trial of those involved in the murder of Khashoggi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said, as reported by state news agency WAM late Monday.

The nation stands with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its efforts aimed at the stability and security of the region, and its leadership of the ‘Arab axis of moderation’, which is the main guarantor of the region’s security, Gargash added.

Dr. Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, president of the Arab Parliament, on Tuesday also commended the preliminary verdicts regarding the Khashoggi case as they reflected Saudi Arabia’s commitment to hold all those involved accountable.

Al-Salami said the issuance of these verdicts showed Saudi Arabia’s keenness to punish all those involved in the killing of Khashoggi, state news agency SPA reported.

The Arab Parliament, he added, rejects any external interference in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs and stands with the Kingdom against those who try to exploit Khashoggi’s case damage the reputation of the Kingdom and its leadership.

Meanwhile, Bahrain on Monday said the ruling against the accused in the case “reflected the integrity of the Saudi Arabian judiciary.”

A senior US administration official, meanwhile, said the Saudi trial as important first step in holding those responsible for Khashoggi’s murder accountable.

The offical also urged the Kingdom to continue with a “fair and transparent” judicial process.

The Riyadh criminal court’s verdict elicited a variety of reactions from across the world.

Interviewed on Al-Arabiya, Mohamed Al-Mahmood, a Saudi legal consultant, said: “Today, Saudi Arabia is announcing to the whole world that it has a criminal justice system that is transparent and independent of all external influences.

“The judges have based their verdicts on credible investigations and hard evidence, which they believe are clear and convincing.

The defendants, who have been sentenced to execution by shooting or to jail time, have the right to appeal their sentence in the second stage of the trial.

“This stage will take place in the appeal court, led by five independent judges, each with no less than 20 years of experience in the judicial system.

“These judges will review all evidence provided and re-investigate the charges made for each of the defendants.”

Jasser Al-Jasser, a journalist based in Riyadh, said that the Khashoggi trial is being treated as a criminal case involving Saudi citizens, not something “linked to media or politics.”

“The public prosecution had reached out to the Turkish authorities for any information, leads or evidence on the killing of Khashoggi and had carried out a comprehensive investigation, questioning anyone who could be involved in the murder during the trial’s first stage,” Al-Jasser told Al-Arabiya.

“The trial is based on transparency and the legal proceedings were attended by representatives from Turkey, international organizations and diplomats, as well as Khashoggi’s family members.”

Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, said 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.”

Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of the strategy and management consultancy company Cornerstone Global Associates, said: “I am ideologically opposed to the death penalty but that’s the Saudi law, and presumably what the family of Khashoggi wants.”


Saudi Arabia: Requests from 160 nationalities have been screened to select Hajj pilgrims

Updated 7 min 8 sec ago

Saudi Arabia: Requests from 160 nationalities have been screened to select Hajj pilgrims

  • Of the pilgrims who will receive approval, 70 percent will be non-Saudis and 30 percent will be Saudi citizens
  • The requests were sorted in accordance with high standards that will ensure the safety and health of pilgrims

RIYADH: Requests from people of 160 nationalities in the Kingdom have been screened electronically to select who will perform Hajj this year, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Sunday.

The requests were sorted in accordance with high standards that will ensure the safety and good health of pilgrims.

The deadline for all applications was July 10 and the main criterion for selection is good health.

Of the pilgrims who will receive approval, 70 percent will be non-Saudis residing in the Kingdom and the remaining 30 percent will be Saudi citizens.