A Saudi court issued final verdicts on Monday in the case of slain Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi after his son, who still resides in the kingdom, announced pardons that spared five of the convicted individuals from execution. While the trial draws to its conclusion in Saudi Arabia, the case continues to cast a shadow over the international standing of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose associates have been sanctioned by the US and the UK for their alleged involvement in the brutal killing, which took place inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the AP reports. Turkish officials say Khashoggi was killed and then dismembered with a bone saw inside the consulate by a team of 15 Saudi agents who had flown to Turkey. Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to seek paperwork to marry his Turkish fiance.
The court ordered a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the five spared from execution. Another individual received a 10-year sentence, and two others were ordered to serve seven years in prison. Western intelligence agencies have said the crown prince bears ultimate responsibility for the killing and that an operation of this magnitude could not have happened without his knowledge. Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur who investigated Khashoggi's killing, tells the AP that the crown prince has remained “well protected against any kind of meaningful scrutiny in his country” and the high-level officials who organized the killing have walked free from the start. "These verdicts cannot be allowed to whitewash what happened,” she said, calling the proceeds a "parody of justice."
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