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Muhammad bin Salman: Saudi leader grants US immunity for Khashoggi killing

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The United States has ruled that Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is immune from a lawsuit brought by the fiancée of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi critic, was assassinated in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. US intelligence agencies believe that Prince Mohammed ordered the murder. But in court filings, the US State Department said he has immunity because of his new role as Saudi prime minister. Khashoggi’s ex-fiancé Hatice Cengiz wrote on her Twitter, along with the verdict, “Jamal died again today.” She, along with Khashoggi-founded human rights group Democracy for the Arab World Now (Dawn), was seeking unspecified damages from the US crown prince for killing her fiancée. The ad accused Saudi leaders and their officials of “kidnapping, detaining, drugging, torturing and killing US-based journalist and pro-democracy advocate Jamal Khashoggi.”.

Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard said “Today is immunity. All these add up to impunity.” Prince Mohammed was appointed crown prince in 2017 by his father Salman his bin Abdul Aziz his Earl his King of Saud. In September of this year, he became prime minister at the age of 37. He denies any involvement in Khashoggi’s murder. Lawyers for the Justice Department said the crown prince, as an “acting head of a foreign government,” “has exempted the head of state from the jurisdiction of U.S. courts by his duties.” “The principle of the head of state immunity is well protected in customary international law,” a Justice Department lawyer said. But the Biden administration wanted to emphasize that the ruling was not a declaration of innocence.

A spokesman for the White House National Security Council (NSC) said in a written statement, “This is a legal decision by the State Department based on long-established and well-established principles of customary international law.” “It has nothing to do with the main story.” Saudi Arabia stated the previous Washington Post journalist was killed in a “rogue operation” via way of means of a group of marketers despatched to steer him to go back to the kingdom. However, US officers stated the CIA had concluded, “with a medium to an excessive diploma of certainty”, that MBS became complicit. The homicide triggered an international uproar and broke the picture of Prince Mohammed and his country. It additionally brought about a primary downturn in US-Saudi relations, with Mr. Biden vowing to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” whilst he became campaigning for the presidency in 2019. Mr. Biden declined to speak to Mohammed bin Salman whilst he first has become president.

But over the summer, President Biden stated he desired to “reorient” relations, in advance of a go to Saudi Arabia in July. His go-to – wherein he became pictured fist-bumping the crown prince – became criticized as validating the Saudi authorities following Mr. Khashoggi’s homicide. Thursday’s choice gave the Saudi leader “a license to kill”, in step with the son of exiled former Saudi safety respectable Saad al-Jabri, who has accused Prince Mohammed of focusing on his circle of relatives and of sending a successful squad to Canada to kill him. “After breaking its pledge to punish MBS for Khashoggi’s assassination, the Biden management has now no longer simplest shielded MBS from duty in US courts, however, rendered him greater risky than ever with a license to kill greater detractors without consequences,” Khalid al-Jabri stated in rates referred to via way of means of AFP.

Amnesty’s Agnes Callamard wrote on Twitter: “This is a deep betrayal. Another one. First not noted via way of means of Pres. Trump. Then Pres. Biden’s fist bump… At all points, that they’d different choices.” And Nihad Awad, country-wide government director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, stated the Biden management had “bought Jamal Kashoggi’s blood for Saudi oil”.

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