Saudi injustice replicates how Israel mistreats Palestinians. In both countries, guilt by accusation is automatic, nearly always for political reasons.
Justice the way it should be is absent in Saudi Arabia, for Israel as well in kangaroo military tribunals for Palestinians.
According to state-controlled Saudi media, five designated patsies were sentenced to death for Khashoggi’s murder, charged with “ordering and committing the crime” – perhaps the latter, clearly not the former under a system where no one dares circumvent de facto ruler authority, or they’ll end up like Khashoggi.
Another 11 Saudis were convicted for involvement in what happened. Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) remains shielded from responsibility for the assassination he clearly ordered.
At a stage-managed Riyadh Thursday news conference, deputy Saudi prosecutor Shaalan al-Shaalan offered the latest explanation of what happened – all versions lacking credibility.
Shaalan lied saying a team was dispatched to Istanbul to persuade Khashoggi to return to the kingdom, adding:
After “talks with him failed,” the hit squad leader (perhaps deputy chief of Saudi intelligence Ahmed al-Assiri) ordered him killed, saying he died from lethal injection, his body dismembered and removed from the consulate.
Turkish audio evidence, likely obtained by bugging the Saudi consulate, indicated Khashoggi was killed straightaway after entering the facility – suffocated to death by a bag placed over his head to cut off air.
His final words were “I’m suffocating. Take this bag off my head.” Shaalan’s explanation is no more credible than earlier fabricated ones about what happened.
Khashoggi was likely killed for what he knew about Riyadh’s regional agenda and intended to publish in his Washington Post column – including kingdom use of CWs, maybe its support for ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Shallan said 21 Saudis are in custody. Close MBS aide Saud el-Qahtani was sacked from his position. He’s prohibited from traveling while remaining under investigation.
He falsely claimed Khashoggi was “coopted by organizations and states hostile to the kingdom,” calling him “a threat to national security.”
Chief Saudi prosecutor Saud al Mojab lied saying a minor official ordered Khashoggi’s murder. Clearly no one would dare circumvent MBS’ authority. Acting on their own would risk the same fate.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed Shallan’s remarks, calling them “insufficient,” demanding suspects be extradited to Turkey for prosecution.
It’s unclear who was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death, surely no valued high-level regime officials, just dispensable ones to take the fall for MBS.
Claims by Saudi foreign minister Jubeir and other kingdom officials absolving the crown prince of responsibility for what happened are bald-faced lies.
Unnamed Riyadh sources said MBS ordered a task force comprised of kingdom loyalists to brief him multiple times daily on how to divert international attention from the incident.
He reportedly urged Netanyahu to wage war on Gaza as a way to do it.
On Thursday, the Trump regime imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials, including US asset freezes and bans on US financial transactions – perhaps a temporary action to be reversed when the incident disappears from international attention.
On Thursday, WaPo editor Karen Attiah tweeted sanctions are “not enough. Sanctions will not fix this,” adding:
The Saudis “murdered a US resident, with dual US citizen children, who wrote for a US paper, in a Saudi diplomatic building in Turkey. This is a goddamn international crime and should be investigated as such.”
As long as the Trump regime supports MBS, he’ll likely get away with shifting blame to others for the murder he clearly ordered.
Congress is the wild card. If a veto-proof majority wants him held responsible and tougher action on the kingdom, all bets are off on what’ll happen ahead.