Public prosecutor in Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that five people have been sentenced to death over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In a statement, the prosecutor said that the five men directly took part in the murder of Khashoggi.
The two top figures investigated over the killing, the deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri, and former advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Saud Qahtani, have been exonerated.
The Saudi consul-general in Istanbul at the time, Mohammed Otaiby had also been released for being not guilty.
According to Saudi media, the court held nine sessions for the trial in the case and concluded that there was no previous intent by those found guilty to murder the Saudi journalist.
The verdicts are not final, but all the defendants can appeal the verdicts.
Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, was killed inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 October 2018. He was at the consulate to obtain documents needed for his upcoming marriage.
Following the Khashoggi crisis, Saudi Arabia announced big changes including in the intelligence agency “in order to enhance the performance of the agency”. New departments were added to the agency including one for strategies, a department for legal affairs, and another department for evaluating its performance.