Attorneys Bruce Fein, a former associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, and W. Bruce DelValle drafted the petition on behalf of the National Interest Foundation, a Washington nonprofit frequently critical of US policy in the Middle East, saying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “has ruthlessly and systematically persecuted his political detractors, opponents, or rivals,” since being elevated to his position in June 2017. The petition was submitted in July but had not been made public
The petition cites cases of states that were not party to the ICC’s founding Rome Statute and were still referred by the UN Security Council to the ICC for investigation. Saudi Arabia is not a party to the Rome Statute.
The petition contends that the “Crown Prince’s assassination of Mr. Khashoggi threatens international peace and stability” and “if left unpunished, the assassination will embolden Mohammed bin Salman to greater recklessness.”
It adds that “there can be little doubt that his nation’s vast wealth gives him unlimited financial resources to continue to globally pursue his penchant for vicious crimes against journalists, dissidents and critics of his regime on an industrial scale.”
“Under the law of command responsibility, he is responsible not only for what he knew but what he should have known. You just can’t be willfully blind,” Fein said.