France's shameful silence over Khashoggi murder trial verdicts


The trial in Saudi Arabia of 11 men accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi in November 2018 ended on December 23rd with the death sentence pronounced against five of the defendants. “These verdicts are the antithesis of justice: the hit men are sentenced to death, potentially permanently silencing key witnesses, but the apparent masterminds walk free,” said UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard. In this opinion article, Mediapart Middle East specialist René Backmann denounces the lack of reaction to the verdicts from France, which the very same day loaded three armed vessels, the first in a deal for 39, onto a freighter bound for Saudi Arabia.

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On December 23rd, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announced the verdict reached in the trial that had begun in January of 11 men accused of killing Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on October 2nd 2018 and cutting up his body with a saw. Five of the defendants were sentenced to death, three others were given a total of 24 years in prison, while the remaining three were acquitted.