An Argentinian prosecutor has agreed to pursue a case against Saudi Arabia‘s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, over possible war crimes in Yemen, according to Human Rights Watch.
HRW petitioned Argentina’s judiciary on Monday to use a clause in its constitution to prosecute Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, who arrived in the country to attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Division, announced on Twitter that a prosecutor has agreed to take up the case, and asked a judge to request information from Yemeni and Saudi authorities regarding alleged war crimes, and had also asked Argentina’s foreign ministry whether the crown prince’s diplomatic status might allow a legal proceeding to go forward.
“The Argentine judiciary, by taking steps towards a formal investigation, is sending a clear message that even powerful officials like Mohammed bin Salman are not above the law and will be scrutinised if implicated in grave international crimes,” Whitson said in an emailed statement to The Independent.
Whitson said the country’s chief prosecutor reviewed the HRW complaint and decided to hand it to another prosecutor assigned by lottery. That prosecutor is now referring the case to a judge for investigation that would include the collection of information about the conduct of the Saudi war in Yemen, which has stretched on for nearly four years.