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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Suit Against Saudi Leader Over Khashoggi Murder Is Dismissed in U.S

Following the State Department’s conclusion that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia is entitled to immunity as a head of state or government, a federal court in the United States stated in a filing that it was dismissing a lawsuit against the crown prince of Saudi Arabia over the killing of a Saudi columnist who lived in Virginia. The filing was made on Tuesday.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was identified as the most important defendant in the case that was brought on behalf of Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz. The complaint was brought on behalf of Hatice Cengiz. In 2018, Mr. Khashoggi went to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to get paperwork for his planned wedding. While he was there, he was murdered by operatives from the Saudi government.

In September of this year, Prince Mohammed was elevated to the position of Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia by his father, King Salman. This action established him formally as the ruler of the country, despite the fact that the monarch continues to serve as the head of state.

The monarch appears to have made the decision in order to provide the prince protection from prosecution in the case, according to several officials and observers in the United States. The declaration was issued by King Salman only six days before the October deadline that the court had set for the United States government to provide an opinion on whether or not Prince Mohammed was entitled to immunity. As soon as he was given his new title, the prince informed the court that, according to previous judicial decisions, he was immune from prosecution.

The State Department first requested further time from the court in order to make a legal conclusion. Subsequently, on November 17, it sent a statement to the Justice Department in which it said that Prince Mohammed ought to be “immune while in office.”

In the letter, the State Department reiterated “its unambiguous condemnation of the atrocious murder” of Jamal Khashoggi and said that it was not taking a position on the litigation itself. At the time, several authorities in the field of law said that the decision was in line with previous cases.

The court went on to say that as a result, “the charges against bin Salman will be rejected based on head-of-state immunity.”

The cases against senior Saudi officials at the time of the killing who were named as defendants in the lawsuit were also dismissed by the court. The court stated that the plaintiffs had not adequately established that the court should have jurisdiction over the matter. Saud al-Qahtani and Ahmed al-Assiri were named as defendants in the lawsuit.

On Twitter, the executive director of an advocacy group called Democracy for the Arab World Now, which is the organisation that brought the complaint on behalf of Ms. Cengiz, said that the decision of the court was “sad news for accountability.” She said that the organisation was in the process of talking with attorneys on the next steps, and that “our fight for justice continues.”

Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, expressed his dissatisfaction with the court’s decision on Tuesday night, calling it “very disappointing.” He also blasted officials in the Biden administration for their handling of the legal conclusion from last month.

In a written statement, he was quoted as saying, “The administration’s intentional and heartless decision goes against President Biden’s repeated assurances to Jamal Khashoggi’s family, and it sends a dreadful message to despots throughout the globe.” It is imperative that those responsible for Khashoggi’s terrible murder be brought to justice for the horrible crime they committed. His loved ones and family members need to see justice done.”

The Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, who penned columns for The Washington Post in which he criticised the crown prince and the leadership of the country, was murdered by Saudi operatives, who first strangled him and then dismembered him. During the campaign for the presidency in 2020, President Joe Biden made a promise to declare Saudi Arabia a “pariah” nation for the killing and other violations of human rights. In one of his first acts as President relating to foreign affairs, Mr. Biden gave permission for the publishing of a United States intelligence report which said that Prince Mohammed had given his approval for the death.

Mr. Biden maintained his distance from the kingdom and was critical of its track record regarding human rights; however, this summer he capitulated to suggestions from top national security aides that he should try to repair relations with Prince Mohammed. This was after Mr. Biden had previously maintained his distance from the kingdom and criticised its human rights record. In July, Obama made a begrudging trip to the monarchy and bumped fists with the crown prince, an action that was widely criticised by leading Democratic politicians and human rights organisations.

In October, the prince led a cartel of oil-producing countries known as OPEC Plus in announcing a significant decrease in output. This move upset Mr. Biden and caused a fresh rift in ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Biden levelled the accusation that the prince was taking the side of Russia, which is relying on high oil prices to finance its expenditures during its conflict with Ukraine.

Top advisers to President Biden believed in May that they had achieved a covert deal with Saudi authorities to raise oil output until the end of this year. However, officials in Riyadh have denied making any such guarantees.

Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews
I am a Political News Journalist of The National Era
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