Saudi Scraps Death Sentences Over Khashoggi Murder, Jails 8

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi attends a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.(Photo by MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP)

 

A Saudi court on Monday overturned five death sentences over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, in a final ruling that was condemned by his fiancee and slammed by a UN expert as a “parody of justice”.

Eight unnamed defendants were handed jail terms of between seven and 20 years in a verdict that comes after Khashoggi’s sons “pardoned” the killers in May, paving the way for a less severe punishment.

The court ruling underscores Saudi efforts to draw a line under the October 2018 murder as the kingdom seeks to reboot its international image ahead of November’s G20 summit in Riyadh.

The closed-door trial of 11 suspects ended in December with five unnamed people sentenced to death and three others handed jail terms totalling 24 years over the killing.

But the family’s pardon paved the way for Monday’s reduced sentences, including clemency for the five people on death row.

“Five convicts were sentenced to 20 years in prison… one person was sentenced to 10 years and two others to seven years,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a spokesman for the public prosecutor.

Mockery of justice’

None of the defendants were named in what was described as the final court ruling on the murder, which triggered an international outcry and tarnished the global reputation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Hatice Cengiz, the Turkish fiancee of the slain journalist, branded the verdict a “farce”.

“The ruling handed down today in Saudi Arabia again makes a complete mockery of justice,” Cengiz said on Twitter.

Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, slammed the ruling as “one more act today in this parody of justice”.

“These verdicts carry no legal or moral legitimacy,” Callamard wrote on Twitter. “They came at the end of a process which was neither fair, nor just, or transparent.”

Khashoggi — a royal family insider turned critic — was killed and dismembered at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, in a case that tarnished the reputation of the de facto Saudi ruler Prince Mohammed.

A critic of the crown prince, the 59-year-old Khashoggi was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a 15-man Saudi squad inside the consulate, according to Turkish officials. His remains have not been found.

Turkey on Monday said the Saudi court ruling did not meet global expectations.

“We still don’t know what happened to Khashoggi’s body, who wanted him dead or if there were local collaborators – which casts doubt on the credibility of the legal proceedings,” tweeted Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency.

He urged Saudi authorities to cooperate with Turkey’s own investigation into the killing.

Riyadh has described the murder as a “rogue” operation, but both the CIA and a UN special envoy have directly linked Prince Mohammed to the killing, a charge the kingdom vehemently denies.

‘Last nail in coffin’

Callamard criticised the fact that “high-level officials” behind the murder have “walked free from the start”, and that Prince Mohammed has remained protected against “any kind of meaningful scrutiny”.

In December, a Saudi court exonerated two of the crown prince’s top aides over the murder — deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri and the royal court’s media czar Saud al-Qahtani.

Both aides were part of Prince Mohammed’s tight-knit inner circle and were formally sacked over the killing.

“Since the beginning, there was never any intent to hold those responsible to account, only repeated attempts to cover it up,” Ines Osman, director of the Geneva-based MENA Rights Group, told AFP.

“This verdict is the last nail in the coffin, saying ‘the case is now closed’.”

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders also condemned the verdict, with its secretary-general Christophe Deloire telling AFP the opaque trial “did not respect the elementary principles of justice”.

The Washington Post reported last year that Khashoggi’s children, including his son Salah, had received multi-million-dollar homes and were being paid thousands of dollars per month by the authorities.

Salah rejected the report, denying discussing a financial settlement with Saudi Arabia’s authoritarian rulers.

In July, 20 Saudi suspects including Assiri and Qahtani went on trial in absentia in Turkey.

The former top aides were formally charged in March with “instigating the deliberate and monstrous killing, causing torment”.

 

 

-AFP

Saudi Verdict In Khashoggi Killing Has No ‘Legal, Moral Legitimacy’ – UN expert

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.  MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

A UN expert on Monday dismissed a Saudi court ruling in the case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, decrying especially that top officials who allegedly ordered his killing had walked free.

“The Saudi Prosecutor performed one more act today in this parody of justice. But these verdicts carry no legal or moral legitimacy,” UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard said in a tweet.

She denounced the fact that “the high-level officials who organised and embraced the execution … have walked free from the start”, and that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman “has remained well protected against any kind of meaningful scrutiny in his country”.

AFP

Khashoggi Murder: Saudi Scraps Death Sentences, Jails Eight

File photo of Jamal Khashoggi

 

 

A Saudi court on Monday overturned five death sentences over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in a final ruling that jailed eight defendants to between seven and 20 years, state media reported.

“Five of the convicts were given 20 years in prison and another three were jailed for 7-10 years,” the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing a spokesman for the public prosecutor.

None of the defendants were named in what was described as the final court ruling on the killing which had sparked an international outcry.

The verdict came after Khashoggi’s sons said in May they had “pardoned” the killers, a move condemned as a “parody of justice” by a UN expert.

The family’s pardon spared the lives of five unnamed people sentenced to death over the 2018 murder in a December court ruling, which was lambasted by human rights groups after two top aides to the crown prince were exonerated.

Khashoggi — a royal family insider turned critic — was killed and dismembered at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, in a case that tarnished the reputation of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old critic of the crown prince, was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a 15-man Saudi squad inside the consulate, according to Turkish officials. His remains have not been found.

Riyadh has described the murder as a “rogue” operation, but both the CIA and a United Nations special envoy have directly linked Prince Mohammed to the killing, a charge the kingdom vehemently denies.

AFP

Saudi Arabia Dismisses Hack Of Bezos’ Phone

FILES) In this file photo taken on June 18, 2014 Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos demonstrates the company’s first smartphone, the Fire Phone, in Seattle, Washington.  AFP

 

The Saudi embassy in Washington on Tuesday dismissed suggestions the kingdom hacked the phone of Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, as media reports linked the security breach to a WhatsApp message from an account of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The 2018 intrusion into the device led to the release of intimate images of Amazon founder Bezos, whose Post newspaper employed as a contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist murdered later that same year at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul.

“Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind hacking of Mr Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd,” the Saudi Arabian embassy said on its Twitter account.

“We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.”

Late Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that a United Nations investigation will report on Wednesday that Bezos’s cell phone was hacked after he got the WhatsApp message from an account purportedly belonging to Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler.

Soon after the message was sent, a massive amount of data was extracted from Bezos’s phone, the Post said investigators concluded.

The Guardian earlier reported that the encrypted message from the number used by Prince Mohammed is believed to have included a malicious file that infiltrated Bezos’s phone, according to digital forensic analysis.

The two men were having a seemingly friendly WhatsApp exchange when the unsolicited file was sent, according to sources cited by The Guardian.

Bezos hired Gavin de Becker & Associates to find out how his intimate text messages and photos made their way into the hands of the National Enquirer, which reported on the Amazon chief’s extramarital affair, leading to his divorce.

In March last year de Becker said he concluded that Saudi Arabian authorities hacked the Amazon chief’s phone to access his personal data.

“Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information,” de Becker wrote on The Daily Beast website at the time.

But de Becker did not specify which part of the Saudi government he was blamed for the hack and gave few details about the investigation that led him to the conclusion that the kingdom was responsible.

In December a Saudi court exonerated Prince Mohammed’s top aides over the murder of Khashoggi, a verdict condemned globally as a travesty of justice but backed by Washington.

Both the CIA and United Nations special envoy Agnes Callamard has directly linked Prince Mohammed to the killing, a charge the kingdom vehemently denies.

AFP

Khashoggi Murder: UN Expert Blasts Saudi Prince Over Defence

Turkey Widens Khashoggi Search, Quizzes Consulate Staff
In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFPj

 

A UN rights expert on Monday criticised Saudi Arabia’s crown prince for trying to create “distance” between himself and journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s execution, even as he appeared to acknowledge the Saudi state was responsible.

Agnes Callamard, a United Nations special rapporteur who conducted an investigation into Khashoggi’s murder, was reacting to an interview broadcast by US media on Sunday with Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Speaking to CBS’s 60 Minutes, Prince Mohammed denied ordering or having advanced warning of Khashoggi’s killing on October 2 last year at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but said he “took full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia”.

Callamard, whose independent probe found “credible evidence” linking the crown prince to the murder and attempted cover up, dismissed that defence as “problematic”.

“He is only taking corporate responsibility for the crime, which goes without saying,” Callamard told AFP, days ahead of the first anniversary since Khashoggi’s death.

She said the interview appeared to mark a concession by Prince Mohammed that “the killing of Mr. Khashoggi was a state killing,” and therefore a rejection of Riyadh’s previous explanation that responsibility for the brutal murder lay with rogue agents.

But Callamard condemned the prince, known by his initials MBS, for taking “no personal responsibility for the crime”.

“He is creating huge distance between himself and the crime,” by arguing that he cannot be liable for the conduct of all Saudi government employees.

Callamard told AFP that “for the last 12 months, the Saudi state, their various representatives and (MBS) included have been lying to the international community regarding the nature of the crime. So now we are supposed to take his word that, yes, he has a corporate responsibility but he has no personal responsibility?”

“Not good enough,” she said.

The CIA has also reportedly said the killing was likely ordered by Prince Mohammed.

But Saudi prosecutors have absolved the prince and said two dozen people implicated in the murder are in custody, with death penalties sought against five men.

 Justice not ‘easy’ 

Callamard has previously blamed UN “paralysis” for the failure to punish those who murdered Khashoggi — a US resident, Washington Post contributor and critic of the Saudi royal family.

She has called on Secretary General Antonio Guterres to independently launch a UN criminal probe.

The UN chief’s office has said that is impossible without a member state request.

“I have not argued that this will be easy for (Guterres) procedurally or politically to do. What I am arguing is that if he wanted, and if he received sufficient formal or informal backing, he could find the legal backing to move forward,” Callamard said.

AFP

There Is ‘Credible Evidence’ Linking Saudi Crown Prince To Khashoggi Murder – UN expert

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014 (FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

There is “credible evidence” linking Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, a report by an independent United Nations rights expert said Wednesday.

In her report, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard said she had “determined that there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi Officials individual liability, including the Crown Prince’s.”

READ ALSO: UN Calls For Independent Probe Into Morsis Death

Similarly, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres should launch an international criminal investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, an independent rights expert said Wednesday.

In a fresh report on the killing, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard urged Guterres to “initiate a follow-up criminal investigation into the killing of Mr. Khashoggi to build-up strong files on each of the alleged perpetrators and identify mechanisms for formal accountability, such as an ad hoc or hybrid tribunal.”

Khashoggi’s Family Denies Settlement With Saudi Govt

Turkey Widens Khashoggi Search, Quizzes Consulate Staff
Jamal Khashoggi/ AFP

 

The family of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi denied Wednesday being in talks to reach a settlement out of court with Saudi authorities following reports that his sons had taken payouts.

“Currently, the trial is taking place and no settlement discussion had been or is discussed,” read an English statement posted to Salah Khashoggi’s verified Twitter account.

The Washington Post on April 1 reported Khashoggi’s children, including Salah, had received multimillion-dollar homes and were being paid thousands of dollars per month by authorities.

READ ALSO: US Asks UN To Recognize Guaido As Venezuela’s Leader

Khashoggi — a contributor to the Post and a critic of the Saudi government — was killed and dismembered in October at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul by a team of 15 agents sent from Riyadh.

His body has not been recovered.

Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused of orchestrating Khashoggi’s killing, but a local investigation exonerated him.

Riyadh initially said it had no knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, later blaming rogue agents for his death.

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has charged 11 people over the murder.

 ‘Not admission of guilt’ 

Khashoggi’s son said only the family and their attorney were authorised to “claim to be a source of information”.

The statement did not openly confirm or deny possible reparations from the Saudi king or crown prince, whom the family called “guardians to all Saudis”.

“Acts of generosity and humanity come from the high moral grounds they possess, not admission of guilt or scandal,” the statement said.

According to the Post, the payments to his four children — two sons and two daughters — “are part of an effort by Saudi Arabia to reach a long-term arrangement with Khashoggi family members, aimed in part at ensuring that they continue to show restraint in their public statements”.

The Khashoggi murder has sparked international outcry and calls to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which leads a regional military campaign battling Yemeni rebels linked to Iran.

US President Donald Trump has been Riyadh’s strongest Western ally throughout the Khashoggi affair, phoning Prince Mohammed on Wednesday to discuss “bilateral relations,” Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

But Republicans and Democrats have both bristled over the White House’s apparent embrace of the kingdom and its leadership.

 Saudi in spotlight

At least seven writers and bloggers — including two US citizens — were arrested in Saudi Arabia on Friday, according to rights groups, in the first major crackdown since Khashoggi’s murder.

The arrests came the day after US lawmakers voted to end military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The text cleared the Senate last month and now heads to Trump, who is widely expected to veto the legislation.

The US State Department on Monday also barred entry to 16 Saudi nationals under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

The section in question “provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that officials of foreign governments have been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States”.

The State Department has also frozen the assets of some Saudi citizens over the Khashoggi affair.

AFP

Saudi Faces Criticism At UN Over Khashoggi Murder

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Credit: MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFPkhashoggi

 

Thirty-six nations condemned Saudi Arabia on Thursday over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a rare censure of the oil-rich kingdom at the UN Human Rights Council. 

A statement read by Iceland on behalf of a group of states expressed “significant concerns” about reported abuses in Saudi Arabia and demanded justice following Khashoggi’s killing.

“Investigations into the killing must be prompt, effective and thorough, independent and impartial, and transparent. Those responsible must be held to account,” added the statement read by Iceland’s UN ambassador Harald Aspelund.

It called on Saudi authorities “to disclose all information available” about its own investigation while cooperating with separate UN inquiries into Khashoggi’s death.

The statement was backed by EU states along with Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

READ ALSO: North Korea Rocket Site Appears ‘Operational’ Again – US Experts

Human Rights Watch said the statement was “the first-ever collective action” at the council on rights in Saudi Arabia, which had successfully evaded criticism at the UN body.

HRW’s Geneva director John Fisher called it “a landmark step toward justice” and urged “more scrutiny” of the country.

Responding to the statement, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva condemned the use of “joint statements for political causes.”

“Interference in domestic affairs under the guise of defending human rights is in fact an attack on our sovereignty,” ambassador Abdulaziz Alwasil said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Saudi Arabia initially said it had no knowledge of his fate.

It has since blamed rogue agents for Khashoggi’s death and the kingdom’s public prosecutor has charged 11 people over his murder.

The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, is conducting an inquiry into the killing.

But Callamard is an independent human rights expert who does not speak for the UN and calls have mounted for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to push for a full UN-backed probe.

AFP

Khashoggi’s Fiance Hopes Trump Will Change His Mind On Killing

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014 (FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. Saudi Arabia on Saturday, October 20, 2018, admitted that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed inside its consulate in Istanbul, state media reported.
MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

 

The Turkish fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday she hoped pressure from the US Congress would encourage the Trump administration to take a tougher stance on the killing.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was killed on October 2 by Saudi agents during a visit to his country’s consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork ahead of his wedding to Hatice Cengiz.

During a press conference in Istanbul for a book on Khashoggi’s life, Cengiz left the door open to a meeting with US President Donald Trump if certain conditions were met.

The book, titled “Jamal Khashoggi: his life, his fight, his secrets”, was written by Turkish journalists Mehmet Akif Ersoy and Sinan Onus with testimony from Cengiz.

READ ALSO: Pompeo To Press Saudi Crown Prince Over Khashoggi’s Murder

An English version will be published next week.

In the book, Cengiz shares her memories and papers detailing the life of former Saudi insider turned critic Khashoggi “who was a journalist for you, but a man for me”.

In December, Cengiz rejected an invitation from Trump.

But on Friday, she said, “a visit to the United States could take place in March”. She hoped the US leader would have a change of “attitude” and “follow the case closely”.

“I have hope, not necessarily regarding Trump, but about the fact that the new Congress will follow this case more closely,” she said, struggling with tears as she spoke.

Special UN rapporteur, Agnes Callamard, said Thursday after a visit to Turkey that Khashoggi’s killing had been “planned and perpetrated” by Saudi officials. Khashoggi had written critical pieces on the Riyadh administration in the Post.

Trump faces a Friday deadline set by Congress to determine if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of Khashoggi.

His murder was met with international outrage and considerably hurt the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is accused of having ordered the killing.

While Riyadh denies any involvement of Prince Mohammed, the crown prince has been implicated in the murder by American senators based on the CIA’s conclusions.

But the Trump administration has said there is no irrefutable evidence of Prince Mohammed’s involvement and has stressed the importance of the strategic partnership between Washington and Riyadh.

Cengiz refused to comment on the accusations against the crown prince, saying only that she awaited the completion of Turkey’s investigation.

However, she denounced the fact that Khashoggi’s remains still had not been found.

AFP

Saudi Prosecutor Seeks Death Sentences As Khashoggi Murder Trial Opens

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. PHOTO: MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

Saudi Arabia’s attorney general sought the death penalty for five of 11 defendants charged with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as their high-profile trial opened in Riyadh on Thursday.

All 11 accused were present with their lawyers at the opening hearing in the capital, according to a statement by the attorney general carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The attorney general said Saudi Arabia had twice submitted formal requests for evidence from Turkey — where Khashoggi was murdered inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate — but had received no response.

The names of the defendants have not been officially released. Five top officials in Saudi Arabia — including royal court insider Saud al-Qahtani — were sacked over the Khashoggi murder, but there is no proof that they are among those charged.

Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, was murdered on October 2 in what Riyadh called a “rogue” operation.

The 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a team of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul for the killing, according to Turkish officials.

There have been reports that his remains, which have never been found, were dissolved in acid.

– Calls for ‘credible’ probe –

The defence team on Thursday requested a copy of the indictment sheet and a timeframe within which to review the charges.

The prosecutor agreed to both requests, SPA said. No date has been set for the next hearing.

The Khashoggi murder shocked the world at a time when Saudi Arabia and its de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were pushing an aggressive public relations campaign to rebrand the ultraconservative monarchy as a modern state.

Among Prince Mohammed’s strongest allies is US President Donald Trump, who now faces increased pressure to approve measures against Saudi Arabia.

The US has sanctioned 17 Saudi citizens in connection with the Khashoggi murder. France and Canada have also sanctioned Saudi Arabian nationals.

The US Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly concluded that Prince Mohammed very likely ordered Khashoggi’s murder. A bipartisan resolution approved by the US Senate last month also holds the crown prince responsible for the killing.

But in November the Saudi attorney general ruled out any involvement by the young crown prince, whose reformist credentials abroad have been seriously tarnished by the murder.

The Khashoggi affair has also given Turkey — allied with Saudi rivals Qatar and Iran — unusual leverage in regional power plays.

Ankara has sought the extradition of the suspects in Saudi custody to stand trial in Turkey but its requests have been repeatedly rebuffed by Riyadh.

Rights groups and the United Nations have called for an independent investigation into Khashoggi’s death, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres last month calling for a “credible” probe.

“Given the possible involvement of Saudi authorities in Khashoggi’s murder and the lack of independence of Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system, the impartiality of any investigation and trial would be in question,” Samah Hadid, a Middle East director at Amnesty International, told AFP on Thursday.

“This is why a UN-led and independent investigation is needed into the murder of Khashoggi.”

AFP

Khashoggi, Other Persecuted Journalists Named Time ‘Person of the Year’

Photo combination of Jamal Khashoggi and the cover image of Time Managzine obtained December 11, 2018 courtesy of Time magazine showing one of four covers for Time magazine “Person of the Year” December 24/December 31 2018. PHOTO: Moises SAMAN / TIME Inc. / AFP

 

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in October at his country’s Istanbul consulate, was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” Tuesday, an honor he shared with other persecuted journalists dubbed as “guardians” of the truth.

Among those named with Khashoggi were Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo — currently imprisoned in Myanmar — and the staff of the Capital Gazette in the US city of Annapolis, including five members killed in a June shooting.

Time, which has awarded the “Person of the Year” title annually since 1927, published four different magazine covers for this week’s edition, each one spotlighting different honorees.

It is the first time someone has been chosen posthumously for the prestigious cover.

US President Donald Trump, the 2016 “Person of the Year,” was the bookmakers’ favorite this year but in the end was runner-up.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, investigating possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 election campaign, was ranked third.

AFP

Mattis Seeks More ‘Evidence’ On Who Ordered Khashoggi’s Killing

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014 (FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.
MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, facing criticism for refusing to connect the Saudi crown prince to the slaying of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said Wednesday he needs to see more evidence for who was behind the murder.

“If I say something, I need the evidence,” Mattis told reporters as he flew to a defence summit in Canada.

“I am quite satisfied we will find more evidence of what happened. I just don’t know what it is going to be, or who will be implicated, but we will follow it as far as we can.”