Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish citizen and the fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi government, has filed a lawsuit in Washington DC, against Saudi Arabia’s crown prince accusing him of ordering the killing, and pursuing Mohammed bin Salman and more than 20 others for unspecified damages.
Khashoggi was killed by a team of Saudi agents during a visit to the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul,Turkey in 2018.
The crown prince has denied ordering the killing. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on 2 October 2018 to obtain papers he needed to marry Ms Cengiz. After listening to purported audio recordings of conversations inside the consulate by Tuekish intelligence, UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard concluded that Khashoggi was “brutally slain” that day, although the Saudi prosecution concluded that the murder was not premeditated.
The journalist was forcibly restrained after a struggle and injected with a large amount of a drug, resulting in an overdose that led to his death, according to the Saudi prosecution. His body was then dismembered and handed over to a local “collaborator” outside the consulate and were never found. In December 2019, the Riyadh Criminal Court sentenced five people to death for “committing and directly participating in the murder of the victim”. Three others were handed prison sentences totalling 24 years for “covering up this crime and violating the law”. Three people were found not guilty including Saudi Arabia’s former deputy intelligence chief, Ahmad Asiri.
Although Saud al-Qahtani, a former senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed, was investigated by the Saudi public prosecution but not charged.
Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in th US, frequently writing for the Washington Post and sseveral Saudi News organisations covering major stories including Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Khashoggi’s human rights group, (DAWN) says its operations were hampered.
Ms Cengiz said: “ Jamal believed anything is possible in America and I place my trust in the American Justice system to obtain a measure of justice and accountability.”