Saudi Arabia has sentenced five people to death over the brutal killing of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's dissident Jamal Khashoggi. Three others have reportedly been awarded jail sentences for 24-years. Saud bin Abdullah al-Qahtani, the former media consultant to Mohammed bin Salman was investigated, however, it was released without any charges, the Al Arabiya reported. Saud al-Qahtani, who was sacked from his position following Khashoggi's murder in October 2018, has entirely receded from public view. While his disappearance remains a mystery, there were reports afloat claiming that Saud al-Qahtani was poisoned to death by Mohammed bin Salman.
A close aid of Mohammed bin Salman, Saud al-Qahtani, was known to be instrumental in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the UN investigation led by Human Rights expert Agnes Callamard reported. Al-Qahtani reportedly met with the hit squad that flew to Turkey in a private jet to murder the journalist. Apart from him, the former deputy Intelligence Chief Ahmed al-Asiri was released over lack of evidence against him, the Saudi Arabian news media network reported. A trial that was conducted in closed-doors of a Riyadh courtroom, indicted 11 unnamed suspects earlier in 2019. Diplomats from the UN Security Council's permanent members--US, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Turkey were permitted to attend the legal proceedings.
A Saudi Arabian and a US resident, Jamal Khashoggi was a critic of the Crown Prince and was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, thus instigating global outrage. The CIA in 2018 has already concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered Khashoggi's brutal killing. The charge has been firmly refuted by Riyadh. After initial denials, changing narratives, Saudi Arabia said that the journalist was killed in a "rogue operation."
Apart from the CIA, UN's human rights investigator Agnes Callamard, in a similar conclusion had said that the murder was a "deliberate, premeditated execution." She further called for a probe against the ally of the US, Mohammed bin Salman himself. However, the US President had dismissed a UN request for the FBI to probe the murder, stating that it would jeopardise the US arms sale to the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia's Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly killed on the direct orders of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, by a team of 15 Saudi officials, comprising of Mohammed bin Salman's own security official. On October 2, 2018, Khashoggi was tortured for 7 minutes, where he was suffocated and his body was dismembered with a bone saw. Jamal Khashoggi's body was never recovered.