Saudi Arabia has sentenced five to death and three others to prison over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Washington Post columnist was murdered in October 2018 after walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents in order to marry his fiancée Hatice Cengiz.

Khashoggi’s death generated international outrage and damaged Saudi Arabia’s international reputation.

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announced the sentences on Monday but specified that a former adviser of the Saudi prince Saud al-Qahtani would not be charged.

‘Extrajudicial execution’

A UN report said that evidence suggests the execution would have required “significant government coordination, resources and finances.”

The report found that Khashoggi was the victim of a “premeditated extrajudicial execution”.

“Every expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the Crown Prince being aware at a minimum, that some sort of mission of a criminal nature, directed at Mr Khashoggi, was being launched,” the report by UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard said.

In Khashoggi’s last published column for the Washington Post, he wrote about press freedom in the Arab World.

“A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change,” he said.

Watch: Friends of Jamal Khashoggi mark one year anniversary of his murder


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