PHOTO BY: NPR NEWS
The Biden administration declared Thursday that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince should be considered immune from a lawsuit over his role in the killing of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
It marks a turnaround from Joe Biden’s passionate campaign trail denunciations of Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal slaying.
The administration said the senior position of the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and recently named prime minister as well, should shield him against a suit brought by the fiancée of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and by the rights group Khashoggi founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.
The request is non-binding and a judge will ultimately decide whether to grant immunity.
The request comes as Saudi Arabia has cut oil production, a move seen as undercutting efforts by the U.S. and its allies to punish Russia for its war against Ukraine.
The State Department called the administration’s call to shield the Saudi crown prince from U.S. courts in Khashoggi’s killing “purely a legal determination.”