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Biden Admin Gives Saudi Prince Immunity In His Murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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  • Biden Admin Gives Saudi Prince Immunity In His Murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    All that talk about how he was tuff and told Mohammed Bin Salman that he held him responsible for his ordering of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. His spineless administration has decided that Bin Salman gets to be immune from the lawsuit filed by the widow of the murdered journalist.

    Sadly, just as spineless as the Trump admin was when it happened, it seems our politicians are nothing but cowards when it comes to holding the terrorist-sponsoring, human-rights abusing, murderous state that is Saudi Arabia, to account for its actions. Because hey, they buy our weapons!

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...case-khashoggi


    Biden administration says Mohammed bin Salman should be granted sovereign immunity in Khashoggi civil case

    Court filing says Saudi crown prince’s promotion to the role of prime minister meant that he was ‘the sitting head of government and, accordingly, immune’

    The Biden administration has told a US court that Mohammed bin Salman should be granted sovereign immunity in a civil case involving the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, effectively ending a last ditch attempt to hold the Saudi crown prince legally accountable for the 2018 killing.

    In a filing released on late on Thursday night, the Biden administration said the crown prince’s recent promotion to the role of prime minister meant that he was “the sitting head of government and, accordingly, immune” from the lawsuit.




    “The United States government has expressed grave concerns regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s horrific killing and has raised these concerns publicly and with the most senior levels of the Saudi government,” the Department of Justice said in its filing, adding that the US had also imposed financial sanctions and visa restrictions related to the murder.

    “However, the doctrine of head of state immunity is well established in customary international law and has been consistently recognized in longstanding executive branch practice as a status-based determination that does not reflect a judgment on the underlying conduct at issue in the litigation,” it said.

    The government’s filing included an attached letter from Richard Visek, acting legal adviser to the US state department, instructing the Department of Justice to submit a “suggestion of immunity” to the court.

    Legal experts say the US government’s position, which was filed to a US district court, will likely lead judge John Bates to dismiss a civil case brought against Prince Mohammed and his alleged accomplices by Hatice Cengiz, the outspoken fiancee of Khashoggi.

    Dawn, a pro-democracy advocacy group that was founded by the murdered Washington Post columnist, was a co-plaintiff in the case, which alleged that Prince Mohammed and other Saudi officials acted in a “conspiracy and with premeditation” when Saudi agents kidnapped, bound, drugged, tortured and killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

    Sarah Leah Whitson, Dawn’s executive director, issued a scathing rebuke of the administration in the wake of its decision, calling it an “unnecessary, elective action that will serve only to undermine the most important action for accountability for Khashoggi’s heinous murder”.

    “It’s beyond ironic that President Biden has single-handedly assured [Mohammed bin Salman] can escape accountability when it was President Biden who promised the American people he would do everything to hold him accountable. Not even the Trump administration did this,” she said.

    In June, Bates invited the Biden administration to weigh in on whether it believed Prince Mohammed should be granted sovereign immunity in the matter, and agreed to give the US government two extensions before demanding that it file its views by 17 November.

    A legal observer close to the matter said it has always been understood that, even though the US government is not a party to the civil claim, its views would be decisive, and that the judge in the matter would very likely proceed with the case or dismiss it depending on the US government’s position.

    The Biden administration’s decision – which in effect will extinguish Cengiz’s last hope for justice – will likely be met with intense criticism by Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who have pressed the administration to take a tougher stance against its Middle East partner. One lawyer close to the matter said the decision was “disastrous for accountability, for human rights, for impunity”.

    The legal decision also makes clear that US president Joe Biden has fully abandoned a campaign promise to hold Prince Mohammed accountable for Khashoggi’s murder.

    It raises questions about Biden’s public remarks last month, in which he said Saudi Arabia would face “consequences” for leading an Opec+ decision to cut oil production, a move that was seen by the US administration as siding with Russia over the interests of American allies.

    People familiar with the matter said the decision was reached after a “big debate” at the top levels of the White House, with some senior US officials arguing that it would be difficult to defend the Biden administration’s claim that human rights are at the centre of its foreign policy while simultaneously allowing “MBS”, as the crown prince is known, to skirt accountability for his alleged role in the murder.

    Cengiz’s lawyers have argued that she turned to the US courts for help because no other forum – including her native Turkey – had an independent enough judiciary to fairly adjudicate her complaint. Prince Mohammed has denied he had personal involvement in the Khashoggi murder.

    It has been clear since June that the future of the case hinged on the question of whether in the eyes of the US government Prince Mohammed – widely seen as Saudi’s de facto ruler – was considered a sovereign, like a president or king, since in most cases sovereigns are considered immune from US lawsuits.

    When Biden first entered the White House, he declined to engage with Prince Mohammed directly. His press secretary argued repeatedly at the time that the prince – though seen as Saudi’s de facto leader – was not Biden’s counterpart.

    At the same time, US intelligence agencies released an unclassified report that said Prince Mohammed had likely ordered Khashoggi’s murder. The president’s stance changed last summer, when he visited Jeddah and met with the crown prince, giving the heir to the throne a fist bump.

    The question over whether the prince was indeed a sovereign got more complicated in September when King Salman declared that Prince Mohammed would be elevated to the position of prime minister. The decision, which was made public just days before the US government was due to weigh in on the Cengiz case, was seen by human rights defenders as a ploy to avoid accountability for the Khashoggi killing.

    If the civil case is allowed to proceed – which is unlikely – it would allow Cengiz and Dawn to seek a deposition of the crown prince. If Prince Mohammed lost the case, he could be liable for damages.

    “It would mean that any time he comes to the US – if he were to be found guilty – they would be able to serve notice and issue a fine. It would be humiliating and would effectively mean he could not travel to the US again,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and fellow at Brookings.

    It is unlikely any of this will now come to pass.

    “The pariah is now above the law,” Riedel said.
    https://news.sky.com/story/jamal-kha...urder-12750038


    Jamal Khashoggi killing: Anger as US offers Saudi crown prince immunity over journalist's murder

    Joe Biden had previously vowed to make a "pariah" out of the country's rulers following the 2018 outrage, but the State Department is now pressing for immunity from prosecution.

    Joe Biden has been accused of "capitulation" after his administration said Saudi Arabia's crown prince should not face legal action over the murder of a US-based journalist.

    Despite the US president having previously vowed to make a "pariah" out of the country's rulers following the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the State Department has declared Mohammed bin Salman's high office should protect him from prosecution for his alleged role in the slaying.

    The official call for the prince, widely known as MBS, to be granted immunity came as he faces a lawsuit filed by the fiancée of Mr Khashoggi and the rights group he founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.

    The request is non-binding and a final decision will rest with a judge.

    But the move is bound to anger human rights activists and many US politicians, coming as Saudi Arabia cracks down on critics at home and abroad and has cut oil production, a move seen as undermining efforts by the US and its allies to punish Russia for its war against Ukraine.

    The State Department said the decision to try to protect the Saudi crown prince from US courts in Mr Khashoggi's killing was "purely a legal determination", citing what it said was a long-standing precedent.

    Despite its recommendation, the State Department said it "takes no view on the merits of the present suit and reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi."

    Saudi officials killed the Washington Post columnist at the country's consulate in Istanbul.

    They are believed to have dismembered him, although his remains have never been found.

    The US intelligence community concluded Saudi Arabia's crown prince had approved the killing of the well-known and respected journalist, who had been critical of his brutal suppression of opponents.

    Saudi Arabia has denied his involvement.

    "When you're attacking FBI agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing"
    -Trump Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders


    "So when you actually get the virus, you're going to start producing antibodies against multiple pieces of the virus. So, your antibodies are probably better at that point than the vaccination."
    - Pfizer Scientist Chris Croce

  • #2
    Old Joe loves to talk tough. Boasting how he would have taken Trump behind a building and beaten the snot out of him. Challenging elderly, overweight detractors to pushup contests. Angrily wagging his finger in the face of an American as he snarls "I don't work for you" (we know). And acting like a tough guy when it came to Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud but groveling before him begging for more oil -- and getting bitch-slapped in response.

    Why is anyone surprised?

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Gondwanaland View Post
      All that talk about how he was tuff and told Mohammed Bin Salman that he held him responsible for his ordering of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. His spineless administration has decided that Bin Salman gets to be immune from the lawsuit filed by the widow of the murdered journalist.

      Sadly, just as spineless as the Trump admin was when it happened, it seems our politicians are nothing but cowards when it comes to holding the terrorist-sponsoring, human-rights abusing, murderous state that is Saudi Arabia, to account for its actions. Because hey, they buy our weapons!
      Different situations. Biden pretended he was tough on Salman and then he caved to him (probably connected to a recent back-room deal to increase oil production).

      Trump didn't condemn him nor did he suggest giving him immunity. What do you think a US president should have done?
      "You should just assume going forward that if I am ever wrong it is a typo" - Backup
      "
      Reality simply does not change based upon consensus or desire." - rogue

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ronson View Post

        Different situations. Biden pretended he was tough on Salman and then he caved to him (probably connected to a recent back-room deal to increase oil production).

        Trump didn't condemn him nor did he suggest giving him immunity.
        You're right, Trump instead defended him, lied about the CIA findings, and then later bragged about saving his arse.

        The situations are indeed not exactly identical but both are situations with the president being a spineless piece of crap, just with different methods. Your point?
        What do you think a US president should have done?
        Supported direct legal and financial consequences. End arms deals until he is legally held responsible. Etc.
        "When you're attacking FBI agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing"
        -Trump Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders


        "So when you actually get the virus, you're going to start producing antibodies against multiple pieces of the virus. So, your antibodies are probably better at that point than the vaccination."
        - Pfizer Scientist Chris Croce

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gondwanaland View Post
          You're right, Trump instead defended him, lied about the CIA findings, and then later bragged about saving his arse.

          The situations are indeed not exactly identical but both are situations with the president being a spineless piece of crap, just with different methods. Your point?

          Supported direct legal and financial consequences. End arms deals until he is legally held responsible. Etc.
          In a situation like this, I try to compare how US relations are applied across the board. Putin and Xi have been known murderers for many years, yet US presidents continued to make deals with them. The question is if sanctions achieve anything beyond damaged relations. IMO, the worst thing a POTUS can do is publicly condemn a foreign leader. All that is going to do is aggravate a situation. If a POTUS decides to punish a foreign government or ruler, he should just do it without fanfare. That way the ruler has wiggle room to try to make amends and keep other important agreements going, like Salman offering to pay off Kashoggi's fiancé. That's pretty much out of the question now.

          Trump and Biden both blew it.
          "You should just assume going forward that if I am ever wrong it is a typo" - Backup
          "
          Reality simply does not change based upon consensus or desire." - rogue

          Comment

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