By Maddie Goodfellow | @MaddieGoodfell2|
Saudi Arabia has sentenced five people to death for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Three more people in the case had been sentenced to jail terms totaling 24 years.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent critic of the Saudi Arabian government, was killed last year.
He was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul by a team of Saudi Agents.
The Saudi public prosecutor said that his death was the result of a “rogue operation”.
11 people, who have not been named, were later put on trial.
The public prosecutor confirmed Saud al-Qahtani, a former Saudi royal adviser, was investigated but not charged and has been released.
The court also ruled that the Saudi consul-general in Istanbul at the time, Mohammed al-Otaibi, was not guilty.
He was released from prison after the verdicts were announced, according to state TV.
The CIA concluded that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, ordered Khashoggi’s assassination, according to the Wasington Post.
He drew international condemnation over the killing because several Saudi agents involved worked directly for him.
However, the crowned prince denied any involvement, but said he takes “full responsibility as leader in Saudi Arabia”.
The trials of the accused were carried out in near-total secrecy, although a handful of diplomats, including from Turkey, as well as members of Mr Khashoggi’s family were allowed to attend the sessions.
Khashoggi was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. His body was reportedly dismembered and removed from the building, and his remains have never been found.