by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio for VT Italy
The truth about the death of the Arab journalist Jamal Kashoggi will probably be buried along with the corpses of those sentenced to death. The Court of Riyadh in fact issued the death sentence against five people held responsible for the murder and dismissal of the Washington Post columnist, which took place within the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2018.
Saudi prosecutors also announced that three other people were sentenced to 24 years in prison for trying to “cover up the crime”. All the condemned can appeal. But more than the “scapegoats” and material perpetrators of the crime, deemed not premeditated but accidental by the judges, the names of the authorities considered extraneous to the barbaric assassination arouse interest.
Saud al-Qahtani, believed to be the personal assistant and former person responsible for the communication on social media of the Saudi crown prince, Mohamed bin Salman, has not been indicted. According to investigations conducted by UN experts there were instead “credible evidence” of individual responsibilities of the prince and his adviser, as reported by RaiNews.
The Tribunal also found Mohammed al-Otaibi, Saudi Consul General in Istanbul at the material time, not guilty. The diplomat was released from prison after the verdict was announced, state TV reported. The international pressures of the US State Department which announced on December 10 last year that Mohammed Al-Otaibi had been accused of serious human rights violations in the case of the murder of the dissident journalist were of no use.
The trial of the accused was conducted behind closed doors, in almost total secrecy and, according to Human Rights Watch, did not meet international standards. Only a few diplomats, including Turks, and members of the Khashoggi family had been allowed to attend the hearings, nine in all, which established the unintentionality of killing for the five sentenced to death, Saudi official TV said.
“We concluded that Khashoggi’s murder was not expected,” reads the prosecutor’s statement. The one that led to the death of Khashoggi, whose body has never been found, has no longer been defined by the Saudi prosecutor as a “rogue operation”. Jamal Khashoggi had entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul on the morning of October 2, 2018 to obtain the documents to marry his Turkish girlfriend, Hatice Cengiz, who had been waiting for him outside.
“There is credible evidence that warrants further investigation into the possible involvement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (and other Wahhabi Kingdom officials) in the killing of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” a strongly critic of the Saudi Crown.
The 101-page report drawn up by the UN human rights experts investigating the case, led by Agnes Callamard, stated this in recent months: In the same report it is claimed that “the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a deliberate and premeditated execution”. This was not the case according to the Court of Riyadh although the man’s body was torn to pieces and therefore concealed. Furthermore, it was also made to believe that Kashoggi had left the Consulate.
“Saudi Arabia is responsible under international law for the extrajudicial killing of Khashoggi,” said Callamard in his report prepared on the basis of the first independent investigation into the killing of the journalist.
The United Nations special rapporteur for extrajudicial or arbitrary executions went to Turkey to head a group of UN experts to investigate the case. In recent months, he denounced the lack of transparency in the hearings in Saudi Arabia of the trial of the 11 accused accused of the murder kept secret by the authorities, asking that the names of the defendants and the fate of 10 other people initially arrested be revealed.
The murder of the Saudi journalist caused a sensation all over the world and provoked the unanimous condemnation of the international community, including the United Nations, and of the American President Donald Trump who however maintained the military collaboration plans with Arabia despite the mysterious crime .
Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio
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