Four years on and it seems unlikely that Jamal Khashoggi’s family may get any form of justice for his murder, according to a researcher. This comes as lawyers for Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman face a US lawsuit over the 2018 killing of the journalist.
In an interview with Salaamedia on Monday (October 3), political analyst and senior research fellow at Afrasid, Thembisa Fakude, said the wheels of justice had ground to a halt the day Turkish authorities handed the matter over to Saudi Arabia.
“When President [Recep] Erdogan passed that file over to the Saudis, notwithstanding the Turks’ promise of justice to the family of Jamal Khashoggi, the dream of ever getting justice in this regard was basically over,” he said.
Khashoggi was a Saudi journalist and author who was assassinated at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, by agents of the Saudi government, allegedly sent by the Crown Prince.
Is there hope for justice for Jamal Khashoggi?
On the fourth anniversary of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder (October 2), his widow Hanan El-Khashoggi renewed her call for justice. In an opinion piece published by The Guardian, she demanded the release of evidence from the Turks.
“It is four years since his killing, but my fight for justice continues. I need details about the plot and the technology that was exploited,” she wrote.
She pleaded for all parties involved in the murder, including authorities from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the NSO Group to be held accountable.
“The Turkish government has been clear that it does not intend to proceed with either the investigation into my husband’s murder or the trial. It should therefore hand over any evidence still in its hands to me. As the only wife of Jamal upon his death, I want all parties to be held accountable for my husband’s murder, including the governments of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the NSO Group.”
However, Fakude said it was more likely than not that Kashoggi’s family may ever receive justice for the journalist’s brutal killing, “because you take the file and you give the perpetrator responsibility to find those that killed Jamal – it doesn’t make sense. There’s not going to be any justice that’s going to come.”
He added: “This is just a sham. The Saudis will never come up with any just position in this regard. In the meantime, his family and friends will never get closure.”.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told a US court on Monday (October 3) that the crown prince’s appointment as prime minister last week ensured him immunity from prosecution.
The prince had consistently denied ordering Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, but later acknowledged that it took place “under my watch.”.
“The Royal Order leaves no doubt that the Crown Prince is entitled to status-based immunity,” lawyers for the prince said in a petition requesting a federal district court in Washington dismiss the case.
The lawyers cited other cases where the United States had recognised immunity for a foreign head of state.
The lawsuit, filed jointly by Cengiz and a human rights group founded by Khashoggi, charged that MbS, 20 co-defendants and others carried out a plot to “permanently silence Mr Khashoggi” after discovering he planned to use the group as “a platform to espouse democratic reform and promote human rights.”