The United States has made a controversial decision regarding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. has said the controversial heir to the Saudi throne and Prime Minister is immune in the case brought by slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
President Joe Biden’s administration has determined that the Crown Prince should be immune in the case.
The US Justice Department attorneys filed papers with the courts on the State Department’s request, saying that the royal has immunity as a foreign head of government.
The court filing, which calls the murder “heinous,” says, “Mohammed bin Salman, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the sitting head of government and, accordingly, is immune from this suit.”
There have been angry reactions from many, and Amnesty International said the U.S. government should “hang its head in shame. This is nothing more than a sickening, total, deep betrayal.”
Cengiz has been vocal and directed her disappointment and anger at President Biden, telling CNN: “Biden himself betrayed his word, betrayed Jamal. History will not forget this wrong decision.”
She also took to Twitter to slam Biden for the move: “Biden saved the murderer by granting immunity. He saved the criminal and got involved in the crime himself. Let’s see who will save you in the hereafter?”
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018. The American Central Intelligence Agency said that same year that the Crown Prince was complicit in the murder of the Saudi journalist, which contradicted the claims by the Saudi government.
Hatice Cengiz and the human rights organisation DAWN (founded by Khashoggi) brought a lawsuit against Crown Prince Mohammed and 28 others in October 2020 in U.S. Federal District Court in Washington D.C.
Jamal Khashoggi died on 2 October 2018, and his body has never been found.