By Mukwuzi Joseph
A court in Saudi Arabia has commuted the death sentences handed to five people convicted over the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, state media report.
Prosecutors said they were given 20-year jail terms after the journalist’s family decided to pardon them.However, his fiancée said the ruling made “a complete mockery of justice”.Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi government, was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul by a team of Saudi agents.The Saudi government said the journalist was killed in a “rogue operation” and the following year Saudi prosecutors put 11 unnamed individuals
The trial was dismissed at the time as “the antithesis of justice” by UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who concluded that Khashoggi was “the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution” for which the Saudi state was responsible.Ms Callamard said there was credible evidence that high-level officials, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were individually liable.The prince denied involvement, although two former aides are being tried in absentia in Turkey on the charge of instigating the premeditated murder of Khashoggi. Eighteen other Saudis are accused by Turkey of carrying out the killing.