President Joe Biden’s administration moved to shield Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from a lawsuit on Thursday over his involvement in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Biden administration said that MBS’ status holding a high office “allows immunity” in response to a lawsuit filed by Khashoggi’s fiancée and by the rights group he founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.
“Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.” Exodus 23:7
“The State Department recognizes and allows the immunity of Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman as a sitting head of government of a foreign state,” said Richard C. Visek, Acting Legal Adviser, United States Department of State, in a letter.
“Under common law principles of immunity articulated by the Executive Branch in the exercise of its Constitutional authority over foreign affairs and informed by customary international law, Prime Minister bin Salman as a sitting head of government is immune while in office from the jurisdiction of the United States District Court in this suit,” the letter continued. “In making this immunity determination, the Department of State takes no view on the merits of the present suit and reiterates
The letter concluded by requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice “submit a suggestion of immunity to the district court.”