Norway says ten Saudi killers wanted to kill an opposition activist

Norway says ten Saudi killers wanted to kill an opposition activist

In 2018, the Saudi authorities sent killers to Norway in order to get rid of the opposition activist and close friend of the Saudi journalist Jemal Khashkuji.

According to the newspaper, Riyadh sent a group of ten people to the country in order to eliminate Iyad al-Baghdadi. It is specified that the Saudi authorities demanded diplomatic immunity for the “security team,” referring to the Vienna Convention, which aroused suspicion in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and the country’s Intelligence Service.

The suspicions stemmed from the fact that the group of individuals for whom immunity was requested consisted only of members of the “security team.” Dagbladet journalists specified that in the end only one person was granted immunity, who was listed as an “attaché”, but actually worked as a “security chief” at the Saudi embassy in Oslo. It is noted that the other nine people from the “security team” arrived in the country in the summer of 2018 and stayed there for some time.

In September, a court in Saudi Arabia sentenced eight people to prison for the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jemal Hashcuji. The judges changed their minds about executing the killers — it had previously been reported that five of them would face capital punishment. Five people received 20 years in prison each, one convicted person will spend ten years in prison, two more will spend seven years each. This is the final decision of the court, which had previously handed down several death sentences to the convicts. Khashkuji’s fiancée called such a court decision a farce.

The journalist disappeared on October 2, 2018, after a visit to the Saudi consulate general in Istanbul. He had gone there to obtain documents that would have helped him finalize his divorce and remarry a Turkish woman. Turkish media, citing law enforcement and investigative sources, reported that authorities have confirmation that Khashkoucgi was brutally tortured at the consulate building and then killed.

The Turkish government publication Yeni Safak, citing audio recordings confirming the massacre at the consulate, reported that the journalist’s fingers and head were cut off during the torture. Other media outlets also referred to the same audio recordings, but the Turkish authorities did not make them available to the public.