Criminal complaint filed against Prince Salman in German court
International desk || shiningbd
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and other high-ranking Saudi officials have been accused of committing crimes against humanity in a criminal complaint filed in Germany by Reporters without Borders (RSF), the press freedom group.
The 500-page complaint, filed with the German public prosecutor in general in the federal court of justice in Karlsruhe, centers on the “widespread and systematic” persecution of journalists in Saudi Arabia, including the arbitrary detention of 34 journalists there and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist.
“These journalists are the victims of unlawful killing, torture, sexual violence and coercion, and forced disappearance,” said Christophe Deloire, the secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders, at a press conference on Tuesday.
RSF has chosen to file its complaint in Germany because German laws give its courts jurisdiction over international crimes committed abroad, even without a German connection. RSF indicated that it hoped its complaint, which centers on Prince Mohammed and four senior officials, will lead the German prosecutor to open what is known as a “situation analysis”, which could lead to a formal prosecutorial investigation into whether the Saudi officials have committed crimes against humanity by targeting reporters.
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“The official opening of a criminal investigation in Germany into the crimes against humanity in Saudi Arabia would be a world first,” said RSF Germany director Christian Mihr. “We ask the public prosecutor general to open a situation analysis, with a view to formally launching a prosecutorial investigation and issuing arrest warrants.”