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US moves to protect Saudi crown prince in murder of journalist

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday declared that senior officials held by the Saudi crown prince should defend him from lawsuits for his role in the murder of a US-based journalist. Bin Salman over a brutal killing.

The administration has denied the crown prince’s official status in a lawsuit brought by the fiancée of murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the rights group he founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now. should be given immunity.

This request is non-binding and a judge will ultimately decide whether to grant the waiver. But this is bound to anger human rights activists and many US lawmakers to punish Russia for a war against Ukraine.

The State Department on Thursday called the administration’s decision to defend the Saudi crown prince from U.S. courts in Khashoggi’s murder a “purely legal decision.”

Saudi officials killed Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His body has never been found, but it is believed that they dismembered him. US intelligence has concluded that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince authorized the murder of a well-known and respected journalist, who has been criticized for silencing those whom Prince Mohammed sees as rivals or critics. He wrote critically about the method.

A statement by the Biden administration on Thursday referred to visa restrictions and other penalties it gave to junior Saudi officials at the time of their deaths.

“Since the early days of this administration, the U.S. government has expressed grave concerns about the responsibility of Saudi agents for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” the State Department said. That statement made no mention of the crown prince’s own alleged role.

Biden, as a candidate, has vowed to create an “outcast” from the Saudi ruler over the 2018 killing of Khashoggi.

As a candidate at the 2019 CNN Town Hall, Biden said, “I think it was total murder.” And I think we should have nailed it that way. It has said publicly that it should be treated and there should be consequences associated with how it is dealt with — its power.

However, Biden as president has tried to ease tensions with the kingdom, including banging fists with Prince Mohammed during a visit to the kingdom in July.

Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz and DAWN sued the crown prince, his aides and others in Washington federal court for their alleged involvement in Khashoggi’s murder. Saudi Arabia insists the crown prince was never directly involved in the killing.

“MBS escapes accountability when President Biden promises the American people that he will do everything in his power to hold him accountable,” DAWN head Sarah Lee Whitson said in a statement. It’s not ironic that President Biden single-handedly assured that he could.” Abbreviation for pudding.

In February 2021, Biden denied that the US government would punish Prince Mohammed himself for the murder of Washington-area resident Khashoggi. Biden argued that there was no precedent for the United States to oppose a strategic partner’s leader after authorizing the release of a declassified version of the intelligence agency’s findings into Prince Mohammed’s role in the murder.

The U.S. military has long protected Saudi Arabia from foreign enemies in exchange for Saudi Arabia maintaining the world oil market.

“It is impossible to interpret today’s Biden administration’s move as anything more than a surrender to Saudi pressure tactics. including reducing

A federal judge in Washington had until midnight Thursday for the U.S. government to issue an opinion on the Crown Prince’s lawyers’ claim that Prince Mohammed’s high public service status was legally exempted in the case. .

The Biden administration also had the option of not commenting either way.

Sovereign immunity is a concept rooted in international law that holds that states and their officials are protected from legal proceedings in the domestic courts of other foreign countries.

According to the State Department, by upholding the concept of “sovereign immunity,” U.S. leaders won’t have to worry about being taken to foreign courts to face lawsuits in other countries.

Human rights advocates have argued that a Biden administration would encourage authoritarian leaders around the world, including Crown Prince Mohammed, to violate more rights.

Prince Mohammed has replaced his aging father, King Salman, as the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi king also temporarily transferred the title of prime minister (a title usually held by Saudi kings) to Crown Prince Mohammed in September. Critics called it a bid to strengthen Muhammad’s claim of immunity.


Contributed by Eric Tucker and Aamer Madhani.

https://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/politics/ap-us-moves-to-shield-saudi-crown-prince-in-journalist-killing/ US moves to protect Saudi crown prince in murder of journalist

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