Did Bin Salman get judicial immunity from Biden in the Khashoggi case?
Biden faces criticism for ditching promise to turn Saudi Arabia into a ‘pariah’
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President Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia has strengthened the view that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has convinced Joe Biden to grant him judicial immunity in Jamal Khashoggi's murder case.
At a time when one of the American courts is pressuring Joe Biden, to express his opinion on Jamal Khashoggi’s case, the President has refrained from openly declaring his opinion, indirectly defending Mohammed bin Salman – the prime suspect who refuses to be involved in the murder of Khashoggi.
Now, let’s take a quick look at the cases in which the US government intervened in lawsuits that had consequences for Washington's allies in the Middle East.
First of all, it should be noted that one of the American Federal Courts gave the Biden administration time until May 1st to express its opinion about to which extent it believes that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, will be acquitted in Jamal Khashoggi's murder case?
In fact, the purpose of the court was to pressurize Biden to clearly state: Will he admit the involvement of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, as a longtime strategic ally of the United States in the Middle East, in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder case, or not?
This happened only a few weeks before Joe Biden's trip to the countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia, and meeting with Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, after months of cold relations.
Another similar example: The case of Saad al-Jabri
Looking at the case of Jamal Khashoggi, in which the US Federal Court asked the Biden administration to express its opinion about the case, it can be seen that each of the previous administrations, somehow interfered in such cases and hindered the results by obstructing the investigation process, because they were well aware of the negative consequences of such cases for their regional allies, and there are countless examples in this field, but perhaps one of the most famous of them is the case of Saad Al Jabri, the former head of the security and intelligence services of Saudi Arabia.
The case of Saad al-Jabri is one of those cases in which Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, is a key player of the case and so far, he has been accused many times of sending groups and terror teams to kill Al-Jabri, who fled from Saudi Arabia and currently lives in Canada.
After Al-Jabri filed a complaint against Mohammed bin Salman in the United States, a number of Saudi companies under the Skop Holding Group, affiliated to the Saudi government in the Massachusetts State, filed a complaint against Al-Jabiri.
Shop Holding Group accused Al-Jabri of embezzling government assets while holding the post of the head of the Saudi security and intelligence services during the time of Mohammed bin Nayef, the former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who was removed from his position in 2017 by King Salman, and then placed under house arrest due to the power struggle in the Saudi ruling family to pave the way for the successor of Mohammed bin Salman – accusations that were completely denied by Saad Al Jabri.
In order to refute the accusations made by Bin Salman, Al-Jabri had to reveal a series of special information about the intelligence activities of the United States and Saudi Arabia in which he had a role.
This information caused the case to become more sensitive and forced the US Department of Justice to intervene in it, because the disclosure of any of this information, which is referred to as state secrets, could be harmful to the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Mohammad Bin Salman himself.
Therefore, while it was expected that the intervention of the Biden administration in this case would give a blow to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, but the involvement of the United States in the case and the jeopardy of Mohammad bin Salman's reputation and his international image caused the process to deviate from the right path, in order to prevent the disclosure of government secrets and to maintain Washington's relations with its long-time regional ally.
The US broke its promise again
Biden has less than a month to announce his opinion about the lawsuit filed against the Saudi crown prince in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder case. Meanwhile, the human rights organizations consider President Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, who had promised to hold Riyadh accountable for human rights violations, including Jamal Khashoggi's murder case, as President's "break of promise" and turning his back on his promises.
“It would be preposterous and unprecedented for the administration to protect him. It would be the final nail in the coffin for attempts to hold Khashoggi’s murderers accountable,” said Abdullah Alaoudh, the head of the Persian Gulf affairs department of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), in a conversation with the Guardian.
In response to President Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia, Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), also wrote on her official account on Twitter: “It would be so shameful if on top of every broken Potus promise to hold MBS accountable for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi he intervenes to block our organization DAWN’s lawsuit to at least get judicial justice.
Whitson adds: “This interference means closing all the ways leading to the implementation of judicial justice and breaking all the promises he made before the election regarding the trial of Jamal Khashoggi's killers.”
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