RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia was insisting Saturday that its judiciary has full autonomy in investigating, and potentially prosecting actions in the Khashoggi case.
Despite widespread belief that the death of the former Washington Post columnist occurred on Turkish soil, the Saudi justice minister says it occurred on Saudi sovereign territory and it will be dealt with by Saudi courts.
Saudi Justice Minister Dr. Waleed Al-Samaani, in a statement carried by state news agency SPA on Saturday, said that the kingdom will not deviate from this approach.
“Saudi Arabia’s judicial institution was founded upon the principles of Islamic law and values of justice that order fairness,“ he said.
He added that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed fully support Saudi judicial institutions that aim to prevent harm to the Kingdom or its citizens, wherever they may be.
The justice minister explained that, “the directives and decisions ordered by King Salman, in the wake of the unfortunate and tragic event that led to Khashoggi’s death, are a continuation of the Kingdom’s approach to “establish the foundations of justice, according to our tolerant law, and the leadership's keenness to protect the safety of all its citizens and care for them wherever they are.”
Dr. Al-Samaani said the kingdom is steadfast in its justice and “will not be destabilized by any hostile behaviours, including reckless media outlets that lack professionalism and credibility.”
Separately, the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia, Bandar Al-Aiban, affirmed the directives issued by the Saudi king.
‘This included the subsequent detention of a number of suspects and the dismissal of a number of officials, which is aimed at achieving justice and accountability of those involved in this case, including the perpetrators.’
He added that justice will be applied with full rigor and transparency.
“The formation of a ministerial committee, under the chairmanship of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the General Intelligence Presidency, falls in line with efforts to consolidate the foundations of justice in accordance with Islamic law and to protect the security and safety of all citizens and residents in the Kingdom, and to ensure the safety of its citizens at home and abroad,” The HRC chairman said.
“The judiciary will have the final say in achieving justice and bringing those involved to a fair trial,” he said.