Jamal Khashoggi's Widow and Democracy for the Arab World Now, File a Federal Lawsuit Against Saudi Crown Prince and More Than 20 Co-Conspirators for Washington Post Journalist's Extrajudicial Killing
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 20, 2020 – Jenner & Block, on behalf of clients Hatice Cengiz—widow of murdered American-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi—and Democracy for the Arab World Now, (DAWN), filed a lawsuit today against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and more than 20 identified and John Doe co-conspirators in US District Court for the District of Columbia.
The lawsuit seeks significant civil damages, including punitive damages, in an amount to be determined by a jury at trial. In addition to monetary damages, the lawsuit seeks discovery from American law enforcement, intelligence, and administration officials to prove that the extrajudicial killing of Mr. Khashoggi was ordered from the top of the Saudi leadership hierarchy.
"US federal court is the proper jurisdiction for this lawsuit under the Torture Victim Protection Act and other common law claims," said former US Ambassador and Jenner & Block Partner Keith M. Harper. "Plotting to kill a United States resident writing for The Washington Post and heading a Washington-based organization subjects the defendants to the US justice system," added Jenner & Block Partner Robert C. Harmala. Mr. Harper and Mr. Harmala serve as co-counsel in the matter with Faisal Gill, managing partner of the Gill Law Firm.
The lawsuit alleges that MBS and his co-conspirators ordered the abduction, torture, murder, dismemberment, and disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi for the purpose of silencing and preventing him from continuing his efforts in the United States as a voice for democratization in the Middle East, principally as DAWN's executive director. DAWN is the organization Mr. Khashoggi started in January 2018 in Washington, DC. As stated in the lawsuit, Mr. Khashoggi was murdered on October 2, 2018 while visiting the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and his remains have never been located or returned.
"I am hopeful that we can achieve truth and justice for Jamal through this lawsuit," said Ms. Cengiz. "I place my trust in the American civil justice system to give voice to what happened and hold those who did this accountable for their actions."
DAWN's Executive Director Sarah Leah Whitson added, "Jamal's death only strengthens our resolve to continue with our critical work – to promote liberty, human rights, dignity, the rule of law, and justice in the Arab world and throughout the world."
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ABOUT GILL LAW FIRM
Based in Washington, DC, Gill Law Firm strives to provide quality legal aid representation to clients, extensively communicating with each client to understand their case and position. The firm builds strategies through extensive research and using their years of experience.
ABOUT DEMOCRACY FOR THE ARAB WORLD NOW (DAWN)
DAWN is an advocacy and research organization envisioned by the late Jamal Khashoggi along with concerned citizens and democracy activists from the Middle East. DAWN's founders recognize the need to continue Mr. Khashoggi's legacy by promoting political liberty, human rights, dignity, the rule of law, and justice in the Arab world.