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US sees Saudi Arabia’s trial as an important step: Administration official

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The United States considers Saudi Arabia’s sentencing of five people to death and three more to jail over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi “an important step” in holding those responsible for the crime accountable, a senior official of the US administration said on Monday.

“This is an important step in holding those responsible for this terrible crime accountable, and we encourage Saudi Arabia to continue with a fair and transparent judicial process,” said the official, who did not wish to be otherwise identified.

A Saudi Arabian court sentenced five people to death for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and three others were sentenced to a total of 24 years in jail, the Public Prosecutor said earlier Monday during a press conference.

The UAE and Bahrain said on Monday that the rulings issued by the Saudi Arabian judiciary confirm the Kingdom’s commitment to implementing the law with transparency and fairness, holding everyone involved accountable.

Khashoggi, a well-known Saudi journalist, was murdered on October 20, 2018 at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. He was visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.

The sentences were announced by the Public Prosecutor at a press conference held in Riyadh.

All those suspected of involvement in the murder case were interrogated by the Public Prosecution. Those indicted were transferred to court. Those not indicted were released, the Public Prosecutor said.