Saudi Arabia overturns death sentences for Khashoggi murder

‘These verdicts cannot be allowed to whitewash what happened.’

A Saudi court has overturned five death sentences for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, handing down jail sentences ranging from seven to 20 years to a total of eight people instead.

A Saudi hit squad murdered and dismembered the Washington Post columnist inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018. 

Many details of the trial remain a mystery.

The verdict comes after Khashoggi’s sons said in May that they had “pardoned” the killers. 

Khashoggi’s fiance Hatice Cengiz called the ruling a “mockery of justice”. 

A UN expert said there was “credible evidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials were liable for the killing. 

“These verdicts carry no legal or moral legitimacy,” said Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial executions.

“They came at the end of a process which was neither fair, nor just, or transparent. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has remained well protected against any kind of meaningful scrutiny in his country. These verdicts cannot be allowed to whitewash what happened.” 

Mohammed bin Salman has denied involvement in the murder. 

This video was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Hassan Ghani.