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Protecting the Killer: US Moves to Shield MBS in Khashoggi Case

Protecting the Killer: US Moves to Shield MBS in Khashoggi Case
folder_openMiddle East... access_time4 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies 

The administration of US President Joe Biden declared Thursday that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be immune from a lawsuit over his role in the killing of a US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

This represents a reversal of Biden’s denunciations of Prince Mohammed during the 2020 presidential campaign.

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in October 2018 by Saudi agents in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, an operation which US intelligence believed was ordered by MBS, who has been the kingdom's de facto ruler for several years.

The State Department qualified the move as “purely a legal determination," saying the prince's position should shield him against a suit brought by the fiancée of the slain Washington Post columnist and by the rights group Khashoggi founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.

The request is non-binding and a judge will ultimately decide whether to grant immunity. 

It drew immediate condemnation from the slain journalist's former fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

“Jamal died again today”, Cengiz tweeted minutes after the news became public. 

She further added: “We thought maybe there would be a light to justice from USA but again, money came first. This is a world that Jamal doesn’t know about and me!”