Biden administration says Saudi prince has ‘sovereign immunity’ in Khashoggi slaying

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


  • The Biden administration said Mohammed bin Salman gets immunity in the killing of a journalist. 
  • It made the argument after Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée sued the Saudi crown prince in the U.S.
  • It is an abrupt shift from Biden’s earlier pledges to hold Crown Prince Mohammed to account. 

The Biden administration said that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) should have legal immunity over the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi. This is a complete turnaround after President Joe Biden vowed to hold him personally to account.

A Washington Post journalist and critic of the Saudi government, Khashoggi was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul 2018. There, he was murdered and dismembered by agents the CIA says were working on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s direct orders.

Biden pledged on the campaign trail to make MBS pay for the killing, and render his nation a “pariah.”

In office, he said he has personally told Crown Prince Mohammed he believes him to be responsible, but has done little to hold him to account as the U.S. seeks to maintain ties with Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers.

U.S. officials made the argument about the prince’s immunity in court papers filed Thursday, part of a civil lawsuit against Crown Prince Mohammed by Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

The Biden administration argued that since Crown Prince Mohammed was recently appointed as Saudi Arabia’s prime minister, he has “sovereign immunity” from prosecution. 

“The United States government has expressed grave concerns regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s horrific killing and has raised these concerns publicly and with the most senior levels of the Saudi government,” the Department of Justice said in its filing.

“However, the doctrine of the head of state immunity is well established in customary international law,” it argued.

Officials said that acknowledging this immunity “does not reflect a judgment on the underlying conduct at issue.”

Biden’s vow to take a tougher stance with the Saudis over the killing than his predecessor, Donald Trump, is one a number of issues that have roiled U.S.-Saudi relations.

Biden walked back from his harsh rhetoric after taking office, and made a conciliatory visit to the crown prince over the summer. While there Biden said he confronted Crown Prince Mohammed over the murder, a claim Saudi officials later disputed.

The visit did little to mend relations overall, and the situation worsened in October when the Saudis decided to cut oil production in tandem with Russia.

In doing so, they are said to have thrown aside a secret deal with the Biden administration to do the exact opposite and increase production. 

Analysts believe that Crown Prince Mohammed is engaging in a power play with Biden, seeking to form closer ties with U.S. rivals Russia and China while offering some diplomatic concessions to the U.S. in the knowledge that Washington is unlikely to significantly weaken its support.

Source: Reuters

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15 thoughts on “Biden administration says Saudi prince has ‘sovereign immunity’ in Khashoggi slaying

    1. Right on, CharlieSeattle! I’d love, love, love to see Quid Pro Joe pay for his treasonous behavior. IMHO hanging is too good for him, but it would do.

  1. Surprise, Surprise……chairman Xiden says one thing and then says the opposite later on. This is what ALL democrats do. He just misspoke, we all misheard…….just believe his next lie.

  2. The ONLY thing Biden and the democrats will take a stronger stand against is republicans- PERIOD!

  3. Biden needs to be removed from office. He’s a compromised installed president. He must be stopped at all costs.

  4. Brandon Biden is the poster child for what all Dumbascrap Party politicians aspire to be — inept and corrupt to the bone. This is why the Dumbascrap Party can no longer win an honest election…

  5. You people are all Sick! He is trying to hold this Cointry together! You are not in the Administration! Shut your silly child Mouths! Donald Trump PARDONED Salman!!!!! You said nothing! We need Saudi Oil to run this Country! Go soak your Heads! Leave President Biden ALONE!!!!!

    1. Oh, I guess you were in a comma from 2016 to 2020. We where completely energy independent, until your boy Biden stopped oil and gas production in America. I guess you and your democrat buddies think it’s ok to buy oil from our sworn enemies. Maybe, the list of traitors in the US of A is longer than we first thought.

  6. I am thinking that much of the oil that Biden released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, went overseas. That oil is supposed to be used in the USA during a threat against this country. Not from a President and his administration that created the problem in the first place. It makes no sense to shutter all our capability and suffer and then buy oil from countries that do more harm to the environment and planet than we do.

  7. Jo Biden and his cabal found out what a big mistake was made when he spoke of holding the Saudi ruler accountable for kashoggis death. He was well and truly exposed by the foreign ministry for his request to withhold raising the price of oil.
    The Saudis reaction to Jo Biden could also have influenced the Biden administration to not get involved with the death of another journalist Shireen Abhu Akleh. A lesson well learnt from the Kashoggi experience.
    Leftist social media have also learnt they cannot always get their way.

  8. It sounds to me like joey is kissing”bottoms”to get favors.Make AMERICA energy independent and forget about taking care of your alternative energy investing”buddies”.DRILL BABY DRILL”.

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