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Khashoggi Murderers’ Lenient Sentence Elicits Criticism from Fiancée

The murder case of deceased and dismembered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi came to its final and unsatisfying end Monday after a court in Saudi Arabia commuted the death sentences of those convicted of the act with the blessing of the family, most likely given under duress. The court announced that five people involved in the 2018 murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul will serve a 20-year prison term and three others will serve between seven and 10 years in jail. The commuting of death sentences handed out in December of last year was made possible thanks to a statement released by Khashoggi’s family in May in which they announced they had forgiven the killers. On Monday, the family thanked the court for its “fair” verdict and stated that the Saudi rulers, among them Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, “have fulfilled their promise. … All our thanks, appreciation, gratitude and loyalty goes to them.” Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, who does not reside in Saudi Arabia, was freer to express her opinion on the ruling, calling it a “farce” and a “mockery of justice.” According to Western intelligence agencies, the late Washington Post journalist was ordered killed by MBS himself because of his outspoken criticism of the Saudi government.