(CNN) – A Saudi court’s announcement that five people have been sentenced to death for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi leaves more unanswered questions than it resolves.
Saud al-Qahtani, widely regarded as the mastermind of the operation at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, was cleared by the court of all involvement on Monday, according to a news conference in Riyadh. Prosecutors said there would be no charges brought against him because “no evidence” was found to exist.
At the time of the murder Qahtani was Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s senior adviser. His role included directing media operations and an online campaign against the government’s critics, including Khashoggi, according to US officials.
He was dismissed from his position within weeks of the murder.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, entered the Saudi consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée. But…
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