Home Activities Assassination How the U.S. Could Prosecute Jamal Khashoggi’s Killers

How the U.S. Could Prosecute Jamal Khashoggi’s Killers

Lee Bollinger, former president of Columbia University, echoes a suggestion I made last year: U.S. law enforcement could prosecute the killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi (Credit: April Brady/Project on Middle East Democracy)

I wrote here that the use of U.S. communication facilities in furtherance of the crime would give U.S. prosecutors jurisdiction. Writing in The Washington Post Bollinger agrees:

The case for U.S. jurisdiction would be bolstered if prosecutors could show that aspects of the crime took place in the United States — for instance, if the Saudis communicated with Khashoggi in the United States when luring him to their consulate in Istanbul.

The CIA has concluded that Kashoggi was killed on the orders of Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo say the evidence isn’t conclusion. The Saudi prosecutors are protecting, not investigating the Crown Prince.

The Trump administration is relying on Saudi help in its policy of confronting Iran and on Saudi purchases of U.S. weapons systems.

A U.S. case against Khashoggi’s killers could do what the Trump administration has not: roll back the U.S. policy of impunity for Saudi war crimes, whether in Turkey or Yemen. 

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