By Greg Norman | Fox News
Critics have questioned the fairness of the trial.
A Saudi court has issued final verdicts Monday in the 2018 killing of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, sentencing eight to prison, according to state television.
The names of those convicted were not made public, but Riyadh Criminal Court reportedly ordered a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for five. Another received a 10-year sentence, and two others were ordered to serve seven years in prison.
Yet the trial has been widely criticized by rights groups and an independent U.N. investigator, who noted that no senior officials nor anyone suspected of ordering the killing were found guilty. The independence of the court has also been brought into question.
SAUDI OFFICIALS GO ON TRIAL IN ABSENTIA IN TURKEY FOR KHASHOGGI MURDER
Prior to his killing, Khashoggi had written critically of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in columns for the Washington Post. He’d been living in exile in the United States for about a year as Prince Mohammed oversaw a crackdown in Saudi Arabia on human rights activists, writers, and critics of the kingdom’s devastating war in Yemen.
Khashoggi was killed in late 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Among those ensnared in the killing are a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officers, and individuals who worked for the crown prince’s office. The crown prince has denied any knowledge of the operation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.