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US says Saudi Arabia's MBS has immunity in Khashoggi lawsuit

The Biden administration says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be immune from a US lawsuit holding him responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's murder.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration has determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has legal immunity in a civil case brought against him over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a move likely to reinforce the criticism that President Joe Biden has backed down from his campaign pledge to hold Saudi Arabia's de facto leader accountable. 

At the request of the State Department, Justice Department lawyers on Thursday night submitted a "suggestion of immunity" concluding Prince Mohammed should be immune from the lawsuit because he is considered a sitting head of government. The department’s legal finding comes less than two months after King Salman appointed his 37-year-old son prime minister of Saudi Arabia, in what critics called a “ploy” aimed at shielding Prince Mohammed from prosecution in US courts.

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