Sunday, November 28, 2021

Reporters’ watchdog group files complaint against Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi murder

The complaint includes allegations of arbitrary detention of more than 30 journalists and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has accused Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and several top officials of committing crimes against humanity in a criminal complaint filed in Germany, Reuters is reporting.

The complaint, filed on Monday with the German public prosecutor general in the Karlsruhe Federal Court, includes allegations of arbitrary detention of more than 30 journalists and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Prince Mohammed has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s killing. Other Saudi figures named in the RSF filing could not be reached by Reuters for comment and the Saudi government’s media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said in a statement: “Those responsible for the persecution of journalists in Saudi Arabia, including the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, must be held accountable for their crimes.”

The watchdog group said it filed the lawsuit in Germany because of that country’s principle of universal jurisdiction, allowing its courts to prosecute crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world.

It also said other names could be added to the complaint at a later stage.

The other officials named in the RSF complaint included Mohammad al-Otaibi, the Saudi Istanbul consul general at the time of Khashoggi’s murder.

The filing follows the publishing of a declassified intelligence assessment by the United States last Friday which concluded that Prince Mohammed approved the operation to “kill or capture” Khashoggi.

Washington is coming under criticism for failing to sanction the prince.

Saudi Arabia said it completely rejected “the negative, false and unacceptable” intelligence assessment.

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