A Saudi Arabian court has handed down prison terms for eight defendants tried in the presumed killing and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. Five defendants who had been condemned to die before having their death sentences commuted – reportedly at the request of the Khashoggi family – were given prison terms of 20 years. One defendant was sentenced to 10 years and the final two were given seven years. The defendants have never been officially identified. Khashoggi never emerged from the consulate after being filmed entering to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage. Turkish media later reported that recordings from inside the building – apparently obtained by Turkish Intelligence – indicated a scuffle, strangulation and finally physical dismemberment. A body was never found. Numerous intelligence services believe the killing was ordered personally by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who insists it was a rogue operation by Saudi operatives.
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