US judge dismisses lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince

Decision comes after Biden administration says Prince Mohammed bin Salman is immune to prosecution

A man passes in front of a screen showing an image of Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event in Istanbul in November 2018. AFP
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A US federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after the administration of President Joe Biden determined he had legal immunity.

The US government wrote last month that the Crown Prince could not be sued in the US because his position as Prime Minister gave him immunity under international law.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington ruled that the court must yield to the executive branch of government in the case.

But US District Judge John Bates wrote that the court had “uneasiness" with the circumstances of Prince Mohammed's appointment and allegations against him concerning Khashoggi’s murder.

The Crown Prince has denied ordering Mr Khashoggi's killing but said later that it took place “under my watch”.

Mr Khashoggi was killed on October 2, 2018, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi Arabia said the murder was an unsanctioned operation by security officials and the kingdom has since reformed the leadership of its top intelligence agencies to prevent such an incident from happening again.

Updated: December 06, 2022, 11:43 PM