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December 23, 2019

King Criticizes Lack of Transparency in Saudi Arabia’s Khashoggi Trial

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today released the following statement from Sen. King on today’s announcement that five unnamed defendants have been sentenced to death for their role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while a top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was cleared of wrongdoing.  

“When Sen. Young and I visited the Kingdom earlier this year, we made clear that for many in Congress any serious improvement in our bilateral relationship requires justice and accountability on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi — delivered clearly, publicly and without equivocation,” said Sen. King. “Between the secrecy surrounding the proceedings (including refusing to name those found guilty) and apparently not accounting for the role the Crown Prince’s top aide Saud al-Qahtani played in the murder– for a lack of evidence, effort, or possibly both – today’s announcement does not seem to meet those criteria. If the Crown Prince wishes to truly bring Saudi Arabia into the 21st century and address the trust deficit between our two nations, he must commit to more transparent and complete justice, both now and in the future. I look forward to receiving more information on these developments from US diplomatic and intelligence officials in the near future.”

In September, Senator King traveled to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman with Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) on the first congressional delegation visit to Saudi Arabia in over a year. In addition to pressing the Crown Prince on the death of Jamal Khashoggi, they also discussed the humanitarian and security crisis in Yemen and releasing pledged humanitarian relief. Following their visit, they wrote an op-ed in Defense News emphasizing the importance of transparency in the ongoing investigation of Khashoggi’s murder.

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