Saudi crown prince sued in the U.S. by Khashoggi’s fianceé and human rights group

Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Photo: REUTERS)

Hatice Cengiz, fiancée of slain Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi journalist and the human rights group that he founded filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court on Tuesday with allegations that Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered his assassination.

The civil lawsuit seeks unspecified damages against the Crown Prince also named more than 20 other Saudi defendants.

The Saudi embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit. The crown prince – known by his initials MbS – has denied ordering Khashoggi’s murder.

Khashoggi, who criticised the policies of the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, in Washington Post columns, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. He was there to collect the papers he needed to marry Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish citizen.

Cengiz and Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), a U.S.-based human rights group founded by Khashoggi, a legal resident of Virginia, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It names several of the crown prince’s aides and officials who were convicted in Saudi Arabia of the murder. The prosecution declared the Saudi case closed.

The lawsuit charged that MbS, his co-defendants and others carried out a plot to “permanently silence Mr. Khashoggi” no later than the summer of 2018 after discovering his “plans to utilise DAWN as a platform to promote democratic reform and human rights.”

A lawsuit was filed in August in a U.S. court by a former top Saudi intelligence official who accused the crown prince of sending a hit team to kill him in Canada, where he lives in exile.

Both lawsuits were brought under a law allowing U.S. court actions against foreign officials over allegations of involvement in torture or extrajudicial killings.

Source: Thai PBS World