Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Monday five people had been sentenced to death and three more to jail terms totalling 24 years over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October last year.
Khashoggi was a U.S. resident and critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler. He was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018, where he was to receive papers ahead of his wedding. His body was reportedly dismembered and removed from the building, and his remains have not been found.
The killing caused a global uproar, tarnishing the crown prince’s image. The CIA and some Western governments have said they believe Prince Mohammed ordered the killing, but Saudi officials say he had no role. Eleven Saudi suspects were put on trial over his death in secretive proceedings in Riyadh.
Saudi Public Prosecutor Shalaan al-Shalaan, reading out the preliminary verdict in the trial, also said Saud al-Qahtani, a former high-profile Saudi royal adviser, had been investigated but was not charged and was released.