Jamaï Khashoggi, Saudi journalist -
MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP
A Saudi court on Monday overturned, in a final verdict, the five death sentences handed down for the murder of journalist critical of power Jamal Khashoggi, sentencing eight defendants to terms ranging from seven to 20 years in prison, according to the official SPA agency .
"Five defendants were sentenced to 20 years in prison and three others to terms ranging from 7 to 10 years in prison," the news agency said, citing the prosecutor's office.
The judgment, described as the final verdict, comes after Jamal Khashoggi's sons announced in May that they had "forgiven" his killers.
Major diplomatic crisis
Those convicted have not been identified.
Washington Post collaborator and critic of the Saudi regime after being close to it, Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated and his body cut into pieces in October 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he had gone to retrieve a document.
He was 59 years old at the time of his death and his remains have never been found.
This murder plunged Saudi Arabia into one of its worst diplomatic crises and tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as “MBS”, named by Turkish and American officials as the sponsor of the murder.
A particular trial
After having denied the assassination, then advanced several versions of the facts, Ryad affirmed that it had been committed by Saudi agents who would have acted alone and without receiving orders from their leaders.
Saudi justice has itself seized the case.
After an opaque trial, five Saudis were sentenced to death and three others to prison terms for the assassination, out of a total of 11 people indicted.
The other three had been "cleared".
This verdict, delivered last December, was criticized by international human rights organizations.
Eviction but acquittassions
Turkish justice began in early July to try in absentia 20 Saudis, including two relatives of the crown prince, former adviser Saoud al-Qahtani and former intelligence number two, General Ahmed al-Assiri, identified as the sponsors. of murder.
The first was investigated in Saudi Arabia but was not charged "due to insufficient evidence" and the second, indicted, was acquitted on the same grounds, according to the Saudi prosecution.
The two men were officially ousted from the political circle of the Crown Prince.
Jamal Khashoggi case: 20 Saudis tried in absentia in Turkey for assassination
Jamal Khashoggi Affair: Saudi Journalist's Family "Forgives" His Killers