Khashoggi case to be tried in Saudi courts

Manama: The case of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will be looked at by Saudi courts as the kingdom’s judiciary has full autonomy to deal with it, Saudi Arabia’s justice minister has said.

The incident occurred inside the Saudi consulate, which is considered Saudi soil, and the judicial process will take place in Saudi Arabia, Waleed Al Samaani said.

Riyadh early on Saturday said Khashoggi was killed in a brawl on October 2 at its general consulate in Istanbul.

So far, 18 suspects, all Saudi nationals, have been arrested in Saudi Arabia as the investigation into the killing continues.

King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz sacked the deputy head of the intelligence services, a senior advisor at the Royal Court and three senior officers.

He also gave directives to form an ad-hoc commission to restructure and overhaul the Saudi Intelligence Presidency.

The commission, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, comprises the ministers of interior and foreign affairs, the head of the Royal Court, the head of the intelligence services, the head of state security and two more members with vast experience in intelligence and security services.

“The directives and decisions ordered by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques following the sad and painful incident that resulted in the death of Jamal Khashoggi are a continuation of the state’s approach to strengthening justice in accordance with the tolerant Sharia, and the leaders’ interest in all citizens and their safety and well-being everywhere,” Al Samaani said.

Human Rights Commission Chairman Bandar Bin Mohammad Al Ayban also welcomed the royal measures as a positive move “to protect the security and safety of all citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia and to ensure the safety of Saudi citizens abroad”.

“These orders and measures unequivocally reaffirm that the protection of human rights, in accordance with the provisions of Sharia and regulations, is one of the most important priorities of the state. The judiciary will have the final say in achieving justice and in bringing those involved to a fair trial,” he said.

Jordan, Palestine, Mauritania, the GCC, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League have joined other countries in hailing the measures taken by King Salman.

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