A Saudi Arabian court on Monday handed out sentences to eight accused in the Jamal Khashoggi murder case, AP reported. Three people were acquitted.

In December 2019, five people had been sentenced to death for the killing of The Washington Post columnist. However, Khashoggi’s family pardoned the convicts. The Riyadh Criminal Court on Monday handed out 20-year prison sentences to the five convicts. It sentenced another to 10 years imprisonment and two to seven years each.

Khashoggi, who had written columns critical of Saudi Arabia, was brutally killed in October 2018, allegedly at the behest of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Khashoggi’s body was said to have been dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and disposed of elsewhere, but his remains were never found.

United States intelligence agencies had found credible evidence that Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing. However, no senior official was convicted of the murder, leading global observers to call the trial a sham.

Khashoggi’s murder had caused an international uproar and led to immense criticism against the prince. The United Nations had condemned the trials and Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, called the verdict a travesty. Callamard had published a 100-page report on the journalist’s murder, saying it was a “deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law”.