Biden Administration Defends Decision not to Punish Saudi Crown Prince over Khashoggi Murder

President Joe Biden defended the decision of his administration to waive any punishment against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder case of the slain U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, citing that imposing sanctions on the royal would have been unprecedented.

In a press release on Wednesday, Biden claimed that he was the one who released the summary of a long-awaited report detailing the findings of the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on the killing of Khashoggi.

The American intelligence community’s report revealed that bin Salman is responsible for the murder of the Saudi Arabian journalist.

“We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” it said.

However, Biden said that he would not pursue imposing sanctions on the Saudi royalty despite being pressured by many rights groups, lawmakers and press freedom activists to do so.

“We held accountable all the people in that organization — but not the crown prince, because we have never that I’m aware of, when we have an alliance with a country, gone to the acting head of state and punished that person and ostracized him,” Biden said in a statement.

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