Saudi court sentences suspects in murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi
Khashoggi was killed and allegedly dismembered after entering the Saudi consulate in Instanbul in October of 2018 and on Monday, September 7 the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) says five of the defendants have been sentenced to 20 years in prison, one was handed a sentence of ten years, and the remaining two will spend seven years behind bars.
The sentences were revealed after Khashoggi's family "pardoned" five of the suspects in May, thereby sparing them the death penalty.
In December of 2019, Saudi officials said they were investigating 11 people involved in the murder. But charges were dismissed against the most high-profile figures, including former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri and Saudi Consul-General at the Istanbul consulate Mohammed al-Otaibi.
At the time, Saud al-Qahtani, a former top adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said there was "no evidence."
Khashoggi's murder drew international condemnation and the CIA concluded that bin Salman personally ordered the killing.
Riyadh's version of what happened on October 2 has repeatedly shifted as new details emerged, but it has always maintained that neither bin Salman nor his father King Salman were aware of any plans to kill the journalist.
But US officials maintain that such a mission could not have been carried out without the authorization of bin Salman.
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