Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee sues Saudi crown prince over journalist’s death

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Oct. 20 (UPI) — Jamal Khashoggi‘s fiancee and the human rights organization he started before he died filed a federal civil lawsuit in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday against Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and about two dozen alleged coconspirators in Khashoggi’s death.

Hatice Cengiz and Democracy for the Arab World Now, or DAWN, accused bin Salman of ordering a hit on the Washington Post columnist in 2018, saying he was tortured, killed and dismembered.

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The lawsuit seeks civil damages and punitive damages to be determined by a jury at trial. It also calls for discovery from U.S. law enforcement, intelligence and administration officials to prove Khashoggi was the target of an extrajudicial killing.

“I am hopeful that we can achieve truth and justice for Jamal through this lawsuit,” Cengiz said in a statement released by DAWN. “I place my trust in the American civil justice system to give voice to what happened and hold those who did this accountable for their actions.”

Khashoggi, who was often critical of the Saudi royal family in his Post columns, was last seen on Oct. 2, 2018, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say he was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after arriving at the consulate, where he went to obtain documents for his planned wedding to Cengiz.

His body was never recovered. A Saudi court sentenced five people to death last year for Khashoggi’s death, but they were never identified. The death sentences, however, were overturned in September. Three others were given 24 years in prison and three others were acquitted.

D.C.-based attorneys Keith M. Harper and Faisal Gill, who are representing Cengiz and DAWN, said the lawsuit’s focus will be to have a court of law in the United States hold bin Mohammed liable for Khashoggi’s death and to obtain documents in both countries that reveal details of what happened.

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