Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman gets immunity from Jamal Khashoggi murder
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The US court has granted immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, BBC News reports Friday. That means he cannot be prosecuted in the United States. US intelligence believes he ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee, had filed the lawsuit against the Crown Prince. She demanded compensation. Due to the ruling of the US court, she wrote on Twitter that “Jamal died again today”.
Salman was eligible for immunity because he was recently appointed prime minister. The U.S. State Department says it is purely a ” legal qualification.” But according to Amnesty International, it’s more than that. “It all comes down to impunity,” said Secretary-General Agnès Callamard.
Khashoggi was believed to have criticized the Saudi government on several occasions and was killed on October 2, 2018 while visiting the consulate in Istanbul. The journalist’s body was never found.
In July, president Joe Biden spoke with Salman about the case. Biden held him responsible for the journalist’s murder, saying the immunity ruling was not a declaration of innocence. But the prince continues to deny his role in the murder.
The murder caused a worldwide stir and damaged the image of the crown prince and his country. It also led to a major setback in US-Saudi relations. But during the summer of 2019, president Biden said he wanted to improve relations. His visit to the country was heavily criticized after Khashoggi’s murder.