Alwaght- The family of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist whom a Saudi squad hit assassinated at the kingdom's consulate in Turkey, accepted as “just rulings,” the new verdict in the dissent columnist's trial, while his former Fiancé denounced the ruling as “a complete mockery of justice.” A Saudi court on Monday overturned five death sentences over Khashoggi's murder and handed 20-year sentences to the. Three others were also sentenced to between seven to 10 years.
“The crimes committed by those convicted are major crimes and the sentences include various prison sentences are just rulings that are accepted by the court that governs the law of God and public order,” Mutassim Khashoggi, the lawyer for the Khashoggi family, told the local newspaper Asharq al-Awsat on Monday evening, as cited by Al Arabiya English.
The verdict comes after Khashoggi's sons said in May they had "pardoned" the killers, a move condemned as a "parody of justice" by a UN expert.
#JamalKhashoggi: 1.The Saudi Prosecutor performed one more act today in this parody of justice. But these verdicts carry no legal or moral legitimacy. They came at the end of a process which was neither fair, nor just, or transparent. https://t.co/nt4n2CqS21
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) September 7, 2020
Five men were sentenced to 20 years in prison and another three were handed jail sentences of seven to 10 years by a Saudi court on Monday, in what became a second ruling in the Khashoggi case. The trial concluded in December and initially resulted in death sentences for five of the perpetrators who were said to be directly involved in the slaying. The other three accomplices were handed lengthy prison terms of a combined 24 years. However, the latter verdict had to be revised after the Khashoggi family pardoned the attackers in May, which, under Saudi law, automatically rules out the possibility of capital punishment for any of the “forgiven” murderers.
The trial was shrouded in secrecy, with the names of the eight people sentenced on Monday remaining under seal.
The new verdict, which is significantly more lenient than the previous one, has sparked public outrage, with Khashoggi’s former fiancé Hatice Cengiz denouncing the ruling as “a complete mockery of justice.”
The trial was widely criticised by rights groups who noted no senior officials nor anyone suspected of ordering the killing was found guilty. The independence of the court was also brought into question.
The ruling, also, did not sit well with the Turkish government either. Ankara vowed to continue its own probe into Khashoggi’s murder, arguing that the secretive nature of the Saudi trials has left more questions than answers.
The Khashoggi family, however, said that they consider the verdict to be “a deterrent for every offender” while reaffirming their trust in the Saudi justice system.
There is no court or agency in the world today that applies the law and ruling of God like the courts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi is believed to have been killed inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 after he went there to finalize a divorce so he could marry his Turkish fiancé, who was waiting for him outside the building. He never returned, however, but was instead captured, brutally slain and reportedly dismembered by a group of people inside the diplomatic compound. Riyadh’s initial reluctance to assume responsibility for the murder led to international fallout, causing several European nations to impose bans on weapon sales to the kingdom. Khashoggi’s remains have never been found.