Saudi Crown Prince Safe From Khashoggi Lawsuits: In contrast to the president’s campaign vows that those guilty would be held accountable, the Biden administration is backing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s claim of legal immunity in the assassination of U.S.-based writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Crown Prince Safe From Khashoggi Lawsuits
In contrast to the president’s campaign vows that those guilty would be held accountable, the Biden administration is backing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s claim of legal immunity in the assassination of U.S.-based writer Jamal Khashoggi.
A State Department legal adviser told the Justice Department of its decision Thursday, stating in a letter that Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler is “immune while in office from the jurisdiction of the United States District Court” Sources said the White House was consulted on the State Department’s decision.
Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said Friday that extending protection to foreign heads of state is “standard procedure” Another State Department spokeswoman called the decision “legal” The U.S. has consistently and throughout administrations extended protection to presidents of state, heads of government, and foreign ministers while in office, the individual added. It doesn’t affect policies or relations.
Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz and the human rights group he formed before his murder filed the federal litigation that spurred the administration’s decision (DAWN). Although the court asked for U.S. input on the crown prince’s claim of diplomatic immunity, its judgment is nonbinding; a judge will determine whether to award the protection.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre conveyed condolences to Cengiz and claimed the evaluation had “nothing to do with the merits of this case” “She has our sympathy. We know she loved someone passionately “saying,
The Washington Post’s publisher and CEO lambasted the decision in a statement on Friday, accusing the Biden administration of “giving a license to murder to one of the world’s most flagrant human-rights violators.” Democratic legislators have long pressed the U.S. government to take a harder stand on alleged human rights violations by Saudi Arabia and were incensed by OPEC+’s decision to cut oil output in October.
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Biden campaigned on holding Saudi authorities responsible for Khashoggi’s “murder.” After joining the White House, he appeared to soften his posture, and in July he fist-bumped Prince Mohammed. Biden claimed he mentioned Khashoggi’s assassination with the de-facto Saudi leader after that encounter. Biden: “I mentioned it at the beginning of the meeting and explained what I thought then and today.”
“I discussed it directly. I clarified my meaning. I remarked being silent on human rights is contradictory with who we are and who I am “Adding, Biden, claimed Mohammed bin Salman denied personal responsibility. Biden: “I said he was.” Turkish authorities say Khashoggi was assassinated by Saudi officials in 2018 while seeking marriage paperwork at the embassy in Istanbul. Investigators suspect Khashoggi was dismembered because security cameras showed him entering but not leaving the premises.
U.S. intelligence assessed that Prince Mohammed approved an operation to abduct or murder Khashoggi after his death, but the Saudi government denies any participation. The State Department says it has punished Saudi Arabia for the killing, including sanctions and visa restrictions on lower-ranking officials.
“Since the beginning of this Administration, the U.S. has expressed worry about Saudi operatives’ involvement in Jamal Khashoggi’s death. U.S. officials have addressed concerns with senior Saudi authorities “spokesperson: