Biden accused of ‘surrender’ – RT World News
After the US leader vowed to make Saudi Arabia a pariah, his administration backed MBS immunity for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a legal filing
The US government has ruled that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be granted immunity for the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Biden administration cited the prince’s promotion to prime minister in a court filing Thursday.
The suggestion drew strong reactions from Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, as well as human rights activists.
The brutal murder of Khashoggi in Turkey, which the CIA says was ordered by bin Salman, widely known as MBS, left a major breach in US-Saudi relations. Holding the kingdom and MBS personally accountable was a major talking point for Joe Biden during his presidential campaign, in which he promised to make the country a « pariah » on the international scene.
According to the record, the U.S. State Department « recognizes and authorizes the immunity of Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman as the incumbent head of government ». At the same time, he reiterates his « unequivocal condemnation » by Khashoggi « odious » murder, but « has no opinion » on the merits of the lawsuit brought by Cengiz and the human rights organization Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) against the Crown Prince and his « co-conspirators ».
The government’s request for immunity is not binding, so the decision on MBS’s status is up to the judge. Responding to the news, Cengiz said that “Jamal is still dead.
Sarah Leah Whitson, the director of DAWN, which was founded by Khashoggi himself, described the Biden administration’s decision as « a capitulation to Saudi pressure tactics. » She referenced news reports in March that MBS had refused Biden’s request to increase Saudi oil production unless the US administration granted him immunity from prosecution.
Meanwhile, Nihad Awad, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, tweeted that « The Biden administration sold the blood of Jamal Khashoggi for Saudi oil. »
Saudi Arabia has yet to comment on the legal development. According to media reports, the crown prince had previously reassured Biden that his government had taken steps to prevent « errors » similar to those made in the case of Khashoggi do not occur again in the future.
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