London, Sep 7 (IANS) A court in Saudi Arabia has commuted the death sentences of five people convicted over the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state media said.
The public prosecution said they were given 20-year jail terms because the journalist’s family had pardoned them. Three others had their sentences of between seven and 10 years upheld, the BBC reported.
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi government, was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul by a team of Saudi agents. The Saudi government said the journalist was killed in a “rogue operation” and the following year Saudi prosecutors put 11 unnamed individuals on trial.
Five were sentenced to death for directly participating in the killing; three were handed prison sentences for covering up the crime; and three were acquitted.
The trial was dismissed as “the antithesis of justice” by a UN special rapporteur, who concluded that Khashoggi was “the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution” for which the Saudi state was responsible.