MbS immune to prosecution: Lawyers
The crown prince's lawyers say his new post shields him from prosecution in the case over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
By News Desk - October 04 2022

(Photo Credit: Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

The lawyers of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) told the court on 3 October that the crown prince is immune to prosecution, after his recent appointment as prime minister.

MbS is facing a US lawsuit over the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by agents of the crown prince, according to US intelligence.

The prince has ever since denied ordering the killing of Khashoggi, but eventually acknowledged it took place “under [his] watch.”

Last week, King Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered a reshuffling of the country’s cabinet by royal decree, appointing his son MbS, as Prime Minister, and Khalid bin Salman, the former deputy defense minister, as the country’s new defense minister.

According to the report published by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the appointment makes MbS the first prince to become prime minister, a role historically reserved for the king himself.

The 86-year-old King Salman has been ruling Saudi Arabia since 2015 and has been gradually transferring power to MbS, following several hospitalizations.

MbS is known as an aggressive reformer, who is trying to steer the country away from its oil-dependent economy, curbing the power of influential Islamic clerics.

However, he has also cracked down on dissent; according to the Washington Postthe country executed 120 people in the first six months of 2022.

According to a report released by the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR), during the first half of 2022, Saudi Arabia executed 120 people, a number higher than that of 2020 and 2021 combined. The kingdom is on its way to surpassing the record of 186 executions set in 2019.

Most of the executions carried out this year took place on 12 March, when Saudi officials killed 81 detainees on charges of “terrorism-related activities.”

Rights groups later revealed that 41 of those executed that day came from Qatif, a region populated by the kingdom’s Shia Muslim minority. Among the dead were also seven Yemenis and one Syrian.

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