Fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi sues Saudi crown prince
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The fiancee of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has accused Saudi Arabia’s crown prince of ordering the killing and has filed a lawsuit against him.
Hatice Cengiz, who was engaged to the Washington Post columnist, is pursuing Mohammed bin Salman and more than 20 others for unspecified damages.
Democracy for the Arab World Now (Dawn), a rights group that Mr Khashoggi formed before his death, joined Ms Cengiz in filing the lawsuit.
Mr Khashoggi was drugged and dismembered inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in 2018.
The Riyadh Criminal Court issued final verdicts in September against eight people involved in his death.
Hatice Cengiz, journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee, speaks to the press as she leaves the Istanbul’s courthouse in July (AFP via Getty Images)
Five of those convicted have each received 20 year sentences, while one was given a ten year sentence and the remaining two were handed seven year sentences.
Their names were not made public and Saudi Arabia’s state television aired few details about the final verdicts.
The civil lawsuit filed in Washington DC on Tuesday, alleges that Mr Khashoggi was killed “pursuant to a directive of defendant Mohammed bin Salman”.
It adds: “The objective of the murder was clear – to halt Mr Khashoggi’s advocacy in the United States… for democratic reform in the Arab world.”
Khashoggi’s fiance says she wants justice for ‘betrayal and deception’
Mr Khashoggi, who was a United States resident, had walked into his country’s consulate on October 2 2018, for an appointment to pick up documents that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiance. He never walked out.
“He was called to that consulate with great betrayal and deception,” the private DHA news agency quoted Ms Cengiz as telling the court during her evidence.
A team of 15 Saudi agents had flown to Turkey to meet Khashoggi inside the consulate.
They included a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officers and individuals who worked for the crown prince’s office. Turkish officials allege Mr Khashoggi was killed and then dismembered with a bone saw.
Saudi Arabia convicts eight people of killing Jamal Khashoggi
Turkey, a rival of Saudi Arabia, apparently had the Saudi Consulate bugged and has shared audio of the killing with the CIA, among others.
Prior to his killing, Mr Khashoggi had written critically of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in columns for the Washington Post.
Saudi Arabia had initially offered shifting accounts about Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.
The crown prince has denied any knowledge of the operation.