Judge Biden seeks immunity for Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman

A U.S. judge has asked Biden’s administration to reconsider whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be involved in a civil lawsuit filed against him in the United States by Jamal Khashoggi’s fianc Hittite Genghis Khan. Independent exemptions may be granted. The journalist who was killed by Saudi agents in that year.

John Bates, a district court judge, gave the U.S. government until Aug. 1 to declare its interests in the civil case or inform the court that it has no opinion on the case.

The administration’s decision could have a profound effect on the civil case and comes at a time when Joe Biden is facing criticism for abandoning campaign promises to turn Saudi Arabia into a “priya”.

The US president will meet with the heir to the Saudi throne later this month when he makes his first trip to Riyadh since entering the White House.

The civil complaint against Prince Mohammed, filed by Sangiz in federal court in Washington, D.C., on October 5, claims that he and other Saudi officials acted with “conspiracy and precision.” When Saudi agents kidnapped, tied up, tortured him with drugs. He assassinated Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2006.

Khashoggi, a former Saudi insider who fled the kingdom and lived in Virginia, was a fierce critic of the young Crown Prince and was actively seeking to counter Saudi online propaganda at the time of his assassination.

After years of inaction by Donald Trump against Prince Mohammed, who was president at the time of Khashoggi’s assassination, the Biden administration released an anonymous report on U.S. intelligence in 2021, shortly after Biden’s entry into the White House was ordered by Prince Mohammed. The assassination of Khashoggi

At the time of the report’s release, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said the kingdom’s government “strongly denies what was said in the report to Congress.”

While Saudi Arabia has said it has prosecuted the Hot Squad responsible for the massacre, the act was widely condemned as shameful, and some senior members of the team met at a government security building in Riyadh. Done.

Other possible avenues of justice have been blocked for political reasons. A Turkish prosecutor’s office ended a lengthy trial in the absence of Khashkji’s assassins in March, in a move that was part of an effort by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to improve relations with Prince Mohammed. Was seen as part.

The Saudi prince has claimed responsibility for the killings on behalf of the Saudi government but has denied any personal involvement in the plot.

For Genghis Khan’s supporters, who are outspoken advocates for justice for Khashoggi’s assassination, any move by the US government to grant the Crown Prince immunity in the case is a betrayal of Biden’s promise. Which accounts for Saudi Arabia.

“It will be unique and unparalleled for the administration to protect him. It will be the last nail in the coffin for Khashoggi’s efforts to hold his killers accountable.” Abdullah Alawood, Dawn’s director of research, said the nonprofit, which promotes democracy in the Middle East, was founded by Khashoggi and is a co-claimant. The case against the prince

Judge Bates said in a ruling Friday that he would hold a hearing on Aug. 31 following attempts by Prince Mohammed and others to dismiss the civil case.

The motion to dismiss the civil case is based on claims by Prince Mohammed’s lawyers that the DC court has no jurisdiction over the Crown Prince.

“In the court’s view, certain reasons for dismissal by defendants may affect U.S. interests. In addition, the court’s decision on the defendant’s actions may help to understand U.S. views,” Bates said.

The judge said he specifically called on the U.S. government to provide a statement of interest on the implementation of the notorious practice of state belief, which says the U.S. should take action against another foreign government in its courts. Refrain from research; This belief complies with the 1991 law that gives Americans and non-citizens the right to make legal claims of torture and extrajudicial killings in foreign countries in the United States; The application of the head of state immunity in this case; And the U.S. view on whether Saudi Arabia’s sovereign interests could be harmed if the case goes ahead.

Amnesty International’s head, Agnes Kalamard, who investigated her previous role as UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said it was “ridiculous” that Prince Mohammed was “too close” to her. The ruler, he said, could take advantage of Khashoggi’s leader. State immunity came after the United States itself publicly concluded that the operation to assassinate Khashoggi was highly probable.

Given that Prince Mohammad was not the king, she added: “MBS [as the crown prince is known] Saudi Arabia is not the ruler and the United States should not recognize him as the head of state. Doing so will give him a power and legitimacy that he certainly does not deserve and hopes he will never achieve.

Genghis could not immediately be reached for comment. The Saudi embassy in Washington was not immediately available for comment.

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