A court in Saudi Arabia on Monday sentenced five people to death for the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year by a team of Saudi agents.
The crown prince drew international condemnation for the killing because several Saudi agents involved worked directly for him. The kingdom has carried out the trials of the accused in near-total secrecy. State TV also reported that 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 found the Saudi consul-general in Istanbul, Mohammed al-Otaibi, not guilty. He and nine others who were not named were 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 to murder, according to state TV. The trial was attended by a handful of diplomats but closed to the press and wider public.