Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and the country’s crown prince, is under fire for allegedly using the position of prime minister to get diplomatic immunity overseas, particularly in the US.
Mohammed bin Salman or MBS as he is often called, was appointed prime minister of the country by a royal decree.
The change occurred as the US debated whether Prince Mohammed met the requirements for immunity from legal action in American courts.
The murder of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s Istanbul consulate in 2018 temporarily made the 37-year-old de facto leader of the world’s largest oil exporter the target of numerous lawsuits in the US.
As a result, he became unpopular in the West.
A US judge had already given US attorneys until October 3 to submit a ‘statement of interest’ about the immunity issue.
However, the US government is now asking for an additional 45 days, citing the most recent development of Prince Mohammed becoming Saudi Arabia’s prime minister.
Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the NGO Khashoggi founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), told AFP it was a ‘last-ditch effort to conjure up a new title for him,’ in other words, ‘a title-washing ploy’.