October 2, 2022

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US judge forces President Biden to show immunity over Saudi crown prince

US judge forces President Biden to show immunity over Saudi crown prince

Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman © AB

A US judge has asked the government for advice in the case against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He has been indicted in the US for his involvement in the 2018 death of assassinated journalist Jamal Khashoggi – allegedly on MBS’s orders.

Judge John Bates gave the US government until August 1 to decide whether it wants to play a role in the investigation, specifically whether bin Salman enjoys immunity in the US. Biden has been under pressure on that document for some time: the president promised to make Saudi Arabia an “outside pariah” during his campaign, but has done little to back it up since he’s in the White House. Biden is also making a trip to Saudi Arabia later this month, where he will meet with bin Salman.

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancee, has blamed bin Salman for the 2018 assassination at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, the government said.

Turkey has already closed its investigation into the killing after a deal with Saudi Arabia. For Genghis and his supporters, the White House’s silence on the matter will be “the final nail in the coffin of our efforts to hold Khashoggi’s killers accountable.”

Lawyers for the Saudi government are now asking for the case to be dismissed, saying bin Salman enjoys immunity. “In this court’s view, that claim can be supported knowing the opinion of the United States,” Judge Bates said.

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