US Court Agrees With Biden’s Admin, Drops Murder Case

( – Last Tuesday, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia’s crown prince over the 2018 killing of Qatari asset Jamal Khashoggi after the State Department determined that the prince has immunity as a head of state or government.

The lawsuit, which was filed in part by Khashoggi’s fiancé Hatice Cengiz, named Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the most prominent defendant.

Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents in 2018 while visiting the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding.

In September, King Salman named his son the prime minister of Saudi Arabia, formalizing the crown prince’s role as ruler of the kingdom while the king remains the country’s head of state.

The move was seen by some US officials as King Salman’s attempt to ensure that his son had immunity in the lawsuit since the king made the announcement six days before an October deadline set by the court for the US government to determine whether the crown prince had immunity based on legal precedent.

The State Department later requested an extension to make the legal determination. On November 17, it filed a statement with the Justice Department determining that Prince Mohammed should receive immunity “while in office.”

In its 25-filing, the court expressed “uneasiness” with the timing of the crown prince’s appointment in light of the “credible allegations” that he was involved in Khashoggi’s murder. However, since the State Department informed the court that the crown prince is immune, the court had no choice but to determine that “the claims against bin Salman will be dismissed based on head-of-state immunity.”

The court also dismissed the cases against Saud al-Qahtani and Ahmed al-Assiri, the senior Saudi officials who were also named as defendants in the lawsuit, explaining that the plaintiffs failed to adequately establish that the court should have jurisdiction over the matter.

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