https://www.turkishminute.com/-Turkish writer Hatice Cengiz (R), fiancée of Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, poses next to a portrait of Khashoggi after unveiling it on the National Mall in Washington, DC., on October 1, 2021, during a memorial ceremony marking the third anniversary of his murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP)
The fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said on Friday that US President Joe Biden “saved the murderer” by granting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman immunity in a lawsuit she filed.
Justice Department lawyers made a court filing at the request of the State Department, saying that bin Salman was recently made the Saudi prime minister and, as a result, qualifies for immunity as a foreign head of government.
“Mohammed bin Salman, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the sitting head of government and, accordingly, is immune from this suit,” the filing reads, while calling the murder “heinous.”
Khashoggi was killed and dismembered after entering the Saudi Consulate General in İstanbul to complete paperwork that would allow him to marry Cengiz in October 2018.
A UN probe described Khashoggi’s death as an “extrajudicial killing for which Saudi Arabia is responsible.”
The Saudi crown prince has denied ordering Khashoggi’s murder.
Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancée, and the Washington-based human rights organization that the late journalist founded, DAWN, initially brought the lawsuit against bin Salman and 28 others in October 2020 in the Washington, D.C., Federal District Court, alleging that a team of assassins “kidnapped, bound, drugged, tortured, and assassinated” Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in İstanbul and then dismembered his body.
Khashoggi’s remains have never been found.
“Biden saved the murderer by granting immunity. He saved the criminal and got involved in the crime himself. Let’s see who will save you in the hereafter,” Cengiz tweeted following the decision.
A US intelligence community report into Khashoggi’s murder published in February 2021 said bin Salman approved the operation to capture or kill the journalist, which ended with his murder and dismemberment.
In April, a Turkish court decided to halt the trial in absentia of 26 suspects linked to the killing of Khashoggi and ordered its “transfer” to Riyadh.
The İstanbul court had begun the trial in 2020, when relations were tense between the two Sunni Muslim regional powers. But with Turkey desperate for investment to help pull it out of an economic crisis, Ankara has sought to heal the rift with Riyadh.