Saudi Arabia on Monday sentenced five people to death and three to jail over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but a U.N. investigator accused it of making a “mockery” of justice by allowing the masterminds of last year’s killing to go free.
A Saudi court rejected the findings of a U.N. inquiry by ruling that the killing was not premeditated, but carried out “at the spur of the moment”. Saudi Deputy Public Prosecutor and spokesman Shalaan al-Shalaan said the court dismissed charges against three of the 11 people tried, finding them not guilty.
A senior official of the Trump administration, which critics say has been too soft on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Khashoggi, called the verdicts “an important step” in holding those responsible accountable.
Another senior U.S. official said Washington would go on pressing for full accountability. Khashoggi was a U.S. resident and a critic of the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MbS.