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The Riyadh Criminal Court announced prison sentences for eight defendants in the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state media reported Monday, in a trial criticised by international human rights groups. Saudi state TV revealed few details about the final verdicts issued against the Saudi nationals, whose names were not made public.
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The court ordered a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for five of the accused. Another received a 10-year sentence and two others were ordered to serve seven years in prison.
The trial was widely criticised by rights groups and an independent UN investigator, who noted that no senior officials nor anyone suspected of ordering the killing was found guilty. The independence of the court was also brought into question.
Prior to his killing, Khashoggi had written critically of Saudi Arabias Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in columns for the Washington Post. He was living in exile in the US for about a year as Prince Mohammed oversaw a crackdown in Saudi Arabia on human rights activists, writers and critics of the kingdoms devastating war in Yemen.
Khashoggi was killed in late 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
The verdict comes after Khashoggi's sons said in May that they had "pardoned" the killers.
'Full responsibility' but no knowledge
In October 2017, a team of 15 Saudi agents was dispatched to Turkey to meet Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for what he thought was an appointment to pick up documents needed to wed his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. The group allegedly included a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officers, and individuals whoRead More – Source