Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has sentenced five people to death for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year, the public prosecutor said on Monday.
In a press conference, spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office Shalan al Shalan said three others were sentenced to different penalties, reports Efe news.
Saudi officials initially denied Khashoggi’s death on October 2, 2018, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but later acknowledged he had been killed when a fight broke out.
Saudi Arabia has said Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue operation” and put 11 defendants, all of whom are Saudi nationals, on trial earlier this year.
Khashoggi had been a columnist for the Washington Post since 2017 after he left Saudi Arabia and was openly critical of his country’s monarchy.
The Post has condemned Khashoggi’s killing, with its editorial page editor Fred Hiatt qualifying it as “a monstrous and unfathomable act” if true, in a statement made in October last year.
He said Khashoggi was a “committed, courageous journalist”, according to the Post.
Khashoggi’s disappearance sparked an backlash from the international community, drawing condemnation from organizations and world leaders.