US Court Dismisses Case Against Saudi Crown Prince For Khashoggi Murder - Filing

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 07th December, 2022) A US Federal court dismissed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over his alleged role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi due to an immunity recommendation from the Biden administration, according to a memorandum opinion.

Judge John Bates of the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday dismissed claims against bin Salman and two other defendants after the Biden administration recommended immunity for the crown prince.

Khashoggi was killed in October 2018 by a team of Saudi agents inside their consulate in Istanbul. US intelligence found that bin Salman, who became the prime minister in September, had approved an operation to murder the journalist.

The facts of the case provide a strong argument that the claims against bin Salman are meritorious, although the case cannot be resolved by the court at this time, the filing 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,'" the filing said. "Accordingly, the claims against bin Salman will be dismissed based on head-of-state immunity."

Historically, courts surrender their jurisdiction when the State Department files a suggestion of immunity, according to the filing.

In July, US President Joe Biden met with bin Salman in Jeddah, during which time he raised Khashoggi's murder. Bin Salman said at the time that he does not feel personally responsible for the murder and took action against those who were.