The fiancée of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and a human rights organization have filed a complaint in an American court against the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and 20 other Saudis. They have been guilty of a ‘brutal crime’ which was the result of ‘weeks of preparation’, say fiancé Cengiz and human rights organisation DAWN.
The Crown Prince is held jointly responsible for the death of the journalist by Hatice Cengiz and the human rights organisation, which Khashoggi founded shortly before his death. He disappeared in October 2018, when he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. He went to the building to arrange something for his upcoming wedding, but was murdered. His body was cut to pieces, smuggled out and never found.
Khashoggi worked for The Washington Post and wrote critical columns about the Saudi regime and the Crown Prince. The CIA thinks he personally ordered the murder. Mohammed bin Salman last year contradicted that he was behind it. However, he took responsibility because the murder was committed by Saudi government officials.
According to The Washington Post, the lawyers of Cengiz and the Human Rights Organisation argue that the Crown Prince and over 20 others accused saw Khashoggi‘s actions as a threat to their interests, and therefore conspired to commit the murder. Furthermore, the lawyers want documents that would reveal the truth to be released.
According to the American newspaper, Cengiz said in a video call with a reporter that Bin Salman killed her impeccable for democratic reforms in the Middle East and for human rights for all. “And especially because he pleaded for them in the United States.”
Khashoggi lived for some time in exile in the United States. Cengiz says that through the American legal system she hopes for “a degree of justice and accountability”.
A Saudi judge initially sentenced five people to death for the murder of Khashoggi, but at the beginning of last month the sentence was converted to 20 years in prison. According to the prosecution, the sentences have been reduced because Khashoggi’s relatives have forgiven the perpetrators, but Cengiz has not done so.