Saudi Arabia sentences five to death for Khashoggi murder

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Five people have been sentenced to death and three more were given jail terms by Riyadh’s criminal court over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.

State TV reported the Saudi attorney general’s investigation showed that the crown prince’s former top adviser, Saud Al Qahtani, had no proven involvement in the killing. Al Qahtani, however, has been sanctioned by the United States for his alleged role in the operation.

The court also ruled that the Saudi consul-general in Istanbul at the time, Mohammed al Otaibi, was not guilty. He was released from prison after the verdicts were announced, according to state TV.

After holding nine sessions, the trial concluded that there was no previous intent by those found guilty to murder, according to state TV.

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In total, 11 people were on trial for Khashoggi’s death in the kingdom.

The verdicts were read by Shaalan al Shaalan, a spokesperson from the attorney general’s office, and broadcast on state TV. No names were given for those found guilty. The attorney general’s office also said it is looking into the verdicts, which were issued by Riyadh’s criminal court, to see whether to move ahead in the appellate court.

The three suspects in the case who face prison time were sentenced to a total of 24 years, but no individual breakdown for each person was given. Another three who were on trial were released after being found not guilty, and several others who were investigated were also released.

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