A judge in New York ordered federal agencies to produce thousands of pages of documents pertaining to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and U.S. resident who was slain in his country's consulate in Turkey last year.
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer instructed the departments of State and Defense to produce some 5,000 pages monthly related to the killing of the Washington Post columnist. The judge said that the information about Khashoggi's disappearance and death is of "considerable public importance."
Representatives from the departments argued that complying with the order for the documents under the Freedom of Information Act would make it impossible to respond to other FOIA requests.
The original request for the government's documents was made by the Open Society Justice Initiative, the legal arm of the Open Society Foundations. The group filed suit in January seeking the immediate release of all government records related to the killing of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident.
Khashoggi was last seen alive entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Critics of the Trump administration say the U.S. government has not acted forcefully enough against the government of Saudi Arabia, which is widely believed to have had a hand in the journalist's death.
Engelmayer said the Open Society's FOIA request had "obvious and unusual time sensitivity," as quoted by The Associated Press.
"This ruling is a clarion call for accountability at a time when the Trump administration is doing everything possible to hide the truth on who is responsible for Khashoggi['s] murder," said Amrit Singh, the Open Society's lead attorney for the case, in an emailed statement.
Saudi Arabia is accelerating efforts to bring dissidents back to the country. The kingdom, which has seen its reputation on the international stage plummet following the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, is reported to be intensifying efforts to ensure than its narrative of reform is not undermined by the growing number of disaffected Saudis living abroad.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be investigated over the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a UN rights expert has concluded, citing "credible evidence". In her long anticipated report, which was released on Wednesday, UN extrajudicial executions investigator Agnes Callamard said Khashoggi's death "constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible".
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has warned against "exploiting" the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi for political gains, in what appeared to be a veiled attack on Turkey. Turkey's ties with Saudi Arabia have come under strain since the brutal killing of Khashoggi last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, which tarnished the reputation of MBS.
The Donald Trump administration issued two authorizations for the transfer of technical “nuclear expertise” to Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi late last year, US Senator Tim Kaine has revealed. Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, where Khashoggi resided, called the decision “shocking” – as it came amid global outrage over the Saudi journalist’s gruesome murder on 2 October. The two approvals were issued on 18 October – only 16 days after Khashoggi was killed – and on 18 February, respectively. Known as “Part 810 authorizations”, they allow US companies to discuss and work on nuclear-related projects in the Gulf kingdom.
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