Immunity for MBS in Khashoggi case angers rights groups.

WASHINGTON -- Human rights groups on Friday accused the Biden administration of 'deep betrayal', as it granted immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a lawsuit over the 2018 killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The US administration conveyed its determination to a court hearing the lawsuit filed by the journalist's ex-fiancee Hatice Cengiz and the rights group Khashoggi founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.

Granting him immunity in this way has provoked a storm of protest from human rights groups as well as Mr Khashoggi's fiancee.

Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard called the recommendation a 'deep betrayal'. In a tweet released on Friday, she wrote: 'Today it is immunity. It all adds up to impunity.'

Amnesty International official calls move a 'deep betrayal'

On Twitter, Ms Cengiz wrote: 'Jamal died again today'.

The US Justice Department on Thursday shared the immunity determination with a US district court in Washington, DC, saying that the Saudi crown prince was recently also made the kingdom's prime minister and therefore 'qualifies for immunity as a foreign head of government'.

The determination was made by the US Department of State, which supervises America's relations with other nations and maintains diplomatic ties with them.

The Justice Department submitted the document late Thursday night, just hours before the court's deadline for hearing the administration's views on the immunity question expired. The court is also hearing the prince's arguments for dismissing the lawsuit because he enjoyed immunity.

The Saudi crown prince's status formally changed in September when he was named prime minister. In Saudi Arabia, power rests with the king, the crown prince, and the immediate, blood-related royals. The prince has been...

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