US Court Dismisses Suit Against Saudi Ruler in Khashoggi Killing

Author: Yuvi December 7, 2022

US Court Dismisses Suit Against Saudi Ruler in Khashoggi Killing

WASHINGTON — A US federal court said in a filing on Tuesday that it was dismissing a lawsuit against the crown prince of Saudi Arabia over the murder of a Saudi columnist who lived in Virginia, after the State Department’s determination that the prince has immunity as a head of state or government.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of the columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, named Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the most prominent defendant. Mr. Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents while visiting Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018 to get documents for his upcoming wedding.

This September, Prince Mohammed’s father, King Salman, made the prince the prime minister of Saudi Arabia. The move formalized his role as ruler of the kingdom, although the king remains the head of state.

Some US officials and analysts said the king appeared to make the decision to ensure that the prince had immunity in the case. King Salman made the announcement six days before an October deadline set by the court for the US government to advise whether Prince Mohammed had immunity. Soon after he received his new title, the prince told the court he had immunity based on legal precedent.

The State Department asked the court for an extension to make a legal determination, and then it filed a statement with the Justice Department on Nov. 17 that said Prince Mohammed should be “immune while in office.”

The letter said the State Department was not taking a position on the suit itself and reiterated “its unequivocal condemnation of the heinous murder” of Mr. Khashoggi. Legal scholars said at the time that the determination was consistent with precedent.

In its 25-page filing on Tuesday, the court said: “Despite the court’s uneasiness, then, with both the circumstances of bin Salman’s appointment and the credible allegations of his involvement in Khashoggi’s murder, the United States has informed the court that he is immune, and bin Salman is therefore ‘entitled to head of state immunity … while he remains in office.'”

“Accordingly,” the court added, “the claims against bin Salman will be dismissed based on head-of-state immunity.”

The court also dismissed the cases against Saud al-Qahtani and Ahmed al-Assiri, senior Saudi officials at the time of the killing who were named as defendants in the lawsuit, saying the plaintiffs had not adequately established that the court should have jurisdiction over the matter.

Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now, an advocacy group that filed the lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Cengiz, wrote on Twitter that the court’s decision was “sad news for accountability.” She said that the group was consulting with lawyers on the next steps and that “our struggle for justice continues.”

Mr. Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident who wrote columns in The Washington Post criticizing the prince and the kingdom’s government, was strangled by Saudi agents and then dismembered. During the 2020 presidential campaign, President Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” for the killings and other human rights abuses. As one of his first foreign policy actions in office, Mr. Biden authorized the release of a US intelligence report that said Prince Mohammed had approved the killing.

Mr. Biden kept his distance from the kingdom and criticized its human rights record, but this summer he bowed to suggestions from top national security aides that he should try to repair relations with Prince Mohammed. He reluctantly visited the kingdom in July and exchanged a fist bump with the prince, which drew widespread condemnation from senior Democratic lawmakers and human rights advocates.

In October, the prince led OPEC Plus, a cartel of oil-producing nations, in announcing a steep cut in production, which infuriated Mr. Biden and created a new rift in US-Saudi relations. Mr. Biden accused the prince of siding with Russia, which relies on high oil prices to support its spending during its war on Ukraine.

Top Biden aides thought they had reached a secret agreement with Saudi officials in May to increase oil production through the end of this year, though officials in Riyadh have denied making such promises.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at

7 December, 2022, 5:52 am

News Cinema on twitter News Cinema on facebook

Wednesday, 7th December 2022

Latest Web Stories

More Stories
Coke Studio Bharat kicks off a new season with independent artists, promoting cultural diversity
South Indian actress Nayanthara exposes ugly truth about casting couch, says she was asked for ‘permission’
Wagner recruits ‘are pumped full of drugs that enable them to keep fighting’, says Ukrainian soldier
Firefighter took selfie in front of smoldering Grenfell Tower and used it for his Tinder profile
Anupam Kher receives Grand Tycoon Global Achievers Award for ‘The Kashmir Piles’
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla host a Buckingham Palace reception
She Took On Atlanta’s Gangs. Now she may be coming for Trump.
Forget Pandemic Puppies. Meet the Inflation Chicken.
Education Firms That Serve Hasidic Schools Are Barred Amid Fraud Inquiry
Power to Punish LIV Golfers Faces a Legal Test in Europe
The Fed increased its interest rates. This is what it means for your personal finances
Viral Video: Thousands in Spain Gather at Church to get Their Pets Blessed; Know why
Kiara Advani and Sidharth Malhotra Hush-hush Royal Wedding in Jaisalmer? Check the date, venue and all the Buzz
Lambeth Council will repay 1,600 drivers it wrongly fined after admitting its road sign was unclear
Pathan Box Office Collection: SRK-Deepika Padukone and John Abraham starrer collects Rs 667 crore worldwide
Anand Pandit says the busy schedule of Big Bull is going on
Pakistan Blast: Peshawar Mosque Bomber who Killed Over 100 Wore Police Uniform; Cops Admit Security Lapse
Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt Starrer Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani Pushed To July 28
Prosecutors subpoena dentist’s office for records of Leilani Simon accused of murdering her son
More pain for Brits as Bank of England is set to hike interest rates TODAY
Winter Storm Hits Texas, West Virginia, Several Other US States; Over 1,800 Flights Canceled
20 Rare Indian Baby Girl and Baby Boy Names Inspired by Love – Check Names and Exact Meanings
Twitter announces plans to start charging developers to access its application programming interface
Anjali Arora’s latest poignant video breaks the internet after MMS scandal – WATCH
ISIS bride Shamima Begum claims she met ISIS executioner Jihadi John
How Lamborghini-driving grifter conned dozens of investors out of $35m with fake weed business
Bank Of England Is Expected To Raise Rates Again
Australia to Replace Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on its Banknote
Australia Is Removing The British Monarch From Its 5-Dollar Bill
Avatar: The Way of Water beat ‘The Avengers’ to become the 10th highest grosser of all time in the US.
Pamela Anderson is radiant at NYC party for her new Netflix doc Pamela, a Love Story
Rakhi Sawant cries uncontrollably saying ‘Marriage with Adil Khan is in danger’
Tunisha Sharma death case: Actor’s uncle demands inquiry into role of Sheesan’s relatives
US to Boost Military Role in the Philippines as Fears Over Taiwan Grow
Accountants say Trump might have as little as $30 million scattered across hundreds of bank accounts
Bernie Sanders labeled a hypocrite for charging $95 a ticket to attend event promoting his new book
Russian Diesel Is Europe’s New Embargo Target
Deepika Padukone wrote a happy birthday wish for sister Anisha
Tom Brady ‘filmed his retirement video days before his official announcement’…
Ex-Skid Row drug addict slams California’s politicians for not ‘incentivizing people to get sober’
LAX power outage stops TSA, causes potential flight delays