Khashoggi's fiancée demands punishment for Saudi crown prince 'without delay'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A demonstrator wearing a mask of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a protest outside the Saudi Arabia consulate, where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 25, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

The fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi says Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be “punished without delay” after a United States intelligence report concluded that the kingdom’s de facto ruler played a role in the murder of the dissident.

“It is essential that the Crown Prince, who ordered the brutal murder of a blameless and innocent person, should be punished without delay,” Hatice Cengiz said in a statement posted on her official Twitter account on Monday.

“This will not only bring the justice we have been seeking for Jamal, but it could also prevent similar acts recurring in the future,” she said.

The 39-year-old Turkish woman added that “following this report, there is no longer any political legitimacy for the Crown Prince,” but noted the US report was not enough.

“The truth – that was already known – has been revealed one more time, and it is now confirmed,” she pointed out.

“Yet this is not enough,” Cengiz warned, “since the truth can only be meaningful when it serves justice being achieved.”

Cengiz said if the Saudi crown prince is not punished, “it will forever signal that the main culprit can get away with murder which will endanger us all and be a stain on our humanity.”

“Starting with [US President Joe] Biden's administration, it is vital for all world leaders to ask themselves if they are prepared to shake hands with a person whose culpability as a murderer has been proven,” Cengiz said.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) report on Friday found that the Saudi crown prince, commonly known as MbS, approved the operation that resulted in the death of Khashoggi at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October 2018.

The publication of the report has heaped pressure on Biden to make good on his campaign promises to realign Saudi ties after critics accused his predecessor, Donald Trump, of giving Saudi Arabia a pass on gross human rights violations.

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), the US-Based rights group founded by Khashoggi, has thanked the Biden administration for “transparency” but urged for the imposition of sanctions on MbS.

“Thank you, Joe Biden, for transparency about Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Now we need sanctions on the Saudi prince responsible,” the group’s Executive Director Sarah Leah Whitson said in a statement.

She added, “The DNI’s report today confirms what we have long known to be true: Mohammed bin Salman ordered the execution of Jamal Khashoggi.

“President Biden should now fulfill his promise to hold MbS accountable for this murder by, at minimum, imposing the same sanctions on him as those imposed on his underling culprits and ending the weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia that would be controlled by an unelected, brutal murderer.”

Saudi Arabia on Friday said it “completely” rejected the declassified US report and described it as a “false and unacceptable assessment.”

“The kingdom rejects any measure that infringes upon its leadership, sovereignty, and the independence of the judicial system,” Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry said. 

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