German court overturns ban on armoured vehicle export to Saudi Arabia
A German court has overturned an export ban on armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, which the government had put in place following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
The administrative court in Frankfurt ruled that the government authority for exports had failed to meet the formal requirements when it put the ban in place on the export of 110 armoured vehicles to the Royal Saudi Land Forces.
The decision was not yet definitive and could be appealed, the court also declared. The court also did not reveal the identity of the company that had brought the case forward.
Last year, following the death of Saudi journalist Khashoggi, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would not export arms to Riyadh while uncertainty over Khashoggi’s fate persisted.
Germany had also imposed travel bans last year on 18 Saudis suspected of being linked to the murder of the journalist.
Last month, Merkel’s office in Berlin called again on Saudi Arabia for a "full and credible explanation" of the murder case.
This came a day after UN special investigator Agnes Callamard accused Merkel of complicity in Khashoggi's brutal killing.
"We have always made clear that we still expect a full and credible explanation from Saudi Arabia and that is still true, a year after this murder," Merkel's spokesperson Ulrike Demmer told Anadolu Agency in response to a question on the matter.
Khashoggi, 59, a critic of Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul October of last year.
Turkey said the murder was carried out by a team of Saudis who travelled to Istanbul for that purpose.
The CIA and the UN have concluded that the Saudi crown prince almost certainly signed off on the operation.
Mohammad bin Salman denied he had ordered the killing of the journalist but said he took responsibility as it happened on his watch.
Eleven Saudi nationals have been indicted and charged in Riyadh with murdering Khashoggi in a highly secretive judicial process. Earlier this year prosecutors said five of them could face the death penalty for their involvement in his killing.