Saudi King Salman stood by the crown prince and heaped praise on the judiciary Monday, in his first public remarks since critic Jamal Khashoggi’s murder tipped the country into one of its worst crises.

The public prosecutor last week exonerated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king’s son, of involvement in the murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, but the CIA reportedly concluded he had ordered the assassination.

The prosecutor called for the death penalty against five men, announced indictments against 11 people, and said a total of 21 individuals were in custody in connection with the killing.

“The kingdom was founded on Islamic principles of justice and equality, and we are proud of the efforts of the judiciary and the public prosecution,” the 82-year-old monarch said in his annual address to the Shura Council, a top advisory body.

“We ensure that this country will never deviate from implementing God’s law without discrimination,” he added, without directly addressing the murder of The Washington Post columnist in his speech.


Source: Seychelles News Agency