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Eight Sentenced to Prison in Khashoggi Death


FILE - Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi, leaves a court in Istanbul, July 3, 2020, during the trial in absentia of two former aides of Saudi Crown Prince and 18 other Saudi nationals in the killing of Jamal Kashoggi.

A Saudi court sentenced eight people to jail Monday for the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul.

Five people were sentenced to 20 years in prison and three others were sentenced to between seven and 10 years Monday, according to state media.

Khashoggi, who was a U.S. resident, went to the consulate in 2018 to pick up documents that would allow him to marry Hatice Cengiz, who is Turkish. He was killed inside the consulate while Cengiz waited outside, sparking global outrage.

The journalist, who wrote columns for the Post, was a prominent critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

None of the defendants in the case were named.

Twenty men are also on trial for Khashoggi’s murder in Turkey, but Riyadh has refused multiple requests to extradite the defendants.

At an earlier stage in the trial, Saudi Arabia sentenced five of the defendants to death, but Khashoggi’s family said they forgave his murderers, allowing for a reprieve of the death penalty.

Critics, including Khashoggi’s fiancée, have condemned the slow pace and secrecy of the trial.

“The ruling handed down today in Saudi Arabia again makes a complete mockery of justice. The Saudi authorities are closing the case without the world knowing the truth of who is responsible for Jamal’s murder,” Cengiz wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia has given varying accounts of Khashoggi’s disappearance, eventually saying the killing was the work of rogue operatives.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has concluded with “medium to high confidence” that Crown Prince Mohammed ordered the killing. The crown prince denies he was involved.

The remains of Khashoggi have not been found. Turkish and Saudi prosecutors allege the Saudi agents dismembered his body after the killing.