Final convictions were issued for eight people involved in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s public prosecution bureau announced Monday.
Five people were given 20 years in prison, another person received a 10-year sentence, and the two remaining people were ordered to serve seven years in prison. Saudi Arabia late last year sentenced five people to death in the death of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
None of the newly convicted people, whose verdicts the spokesperson said were issued by the Criminal Court in Riyadh, were identified Monday.
Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, said in a statement that the convictions were a “complete mockery of justice” and a “farce” that the international community will not accept.
“The Saudi authorities are closing the case without the world knowing the truth of who is responsible for Jamal’s murder,” Cengiz wrote. “Who planned it, who ordered it, where is his body? These are the most basic and important questions that remain totally unanswered.”
The death of Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and permanent resident of the U.S., made international headlines as more details came to light. Khashoggi, who was living in exile, was openly critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his columns.
Khashoggi disappeared Oct. 2, 2018, after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork for his divorce to go forth with his pending marriage. He previously tried to obtain this paperwork in Washington, D.C., but was directed to Istanbul, instead.
Turkish prosecutors concluded that Khashoggi had been strangled or suffocated before his body was dismembered. The CIA has found that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing, which Riyadh has firmly rejected.
A 101-page U.N. report concluded that while it may be unclear who issued the decisive order to kill Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia was ultimately responsible for his death. The report cited an audio recording from the Saudi Consulate in which a voice tells Khashoggi that there is an order from Interpol to send him back to Saudi Arabia.
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Saudi officials have offered varying accounts of what led to Khashoggi’s death. Former Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in 2018 that Khashoggi’s death was a result of a “rogue operation.”
Prosecutors said after last year’s convictions that there had been no premeditated plan to kill Khashoggi and that a group of men intended to kidnap the journalist but chose to kill him because of the difficulty of moving him.
But Saudi Arabia’s attorney general said in 2018 that evidence provided by Turkish investigators indicated that the “suspects in the incident had committed their act with a premeditated intention.”
Saudi Arabia’s trials in Khashoggi’s death have been criticized for the near-total secrecy in which they have been conducted and because no senior officials have been convicted.
Charlene Gubash reported from Cairo, Egypt. Doha Madani reported from New York City.
The Associated Press contributed.