In a statement issued on Monday, the Paris-based media rights watchdog noted that by meting out death sentence to five Saudi on charges of killing the dissident journalist, Saudi Arabia actually seeks to “permanently silence the suspects” involved in the murder of Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, 59, a former advocate of the Saudi royal court who later became a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), was killed after being lured into the Saudi diplomatic mission in Istanbul on October 2 last year.
The Saudi government initially claimed Khashoggi left the consulate on that day, but it later said he had been killed. It alleged, though, that he had been killed by a “rogue” group.
Reading out the preliminary verdict in the trial on Monday, Saudi Deputy Public Prosecutor Shalaan al-Shalaan said of the 11 unnamed individuals held over Khashoggi’s death, five were sentenced to death, three more were sentenced to jail terms totaling 24 years and the remaining three were exonerated.