Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor has said five people have been sentenced to death in the case of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October last year.

Three more people have been given jail terms totalling 24 years.

However, the prosecutor said Saud al-Qahtani, a former high-profile royal adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was investigated but not charged and was released.

Another former aide to the Crown Prince, former deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri was charged but cleared, the prosecutor also said.

Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed, was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 where he was to receive papers ahead of his wedding.

His body was reportedly dismembered and removed from the building, and his remains have not been found.

The killing caused a global uproar, tarnishing the crown prince's image.

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The CIA and some Western governments have said they believe Prince Mohammed ordered the killing, but Saudi officials say he had no role.

Eleven Saudi suspects were put on trial over his death in secretive proceedings in Riyadh.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has criticised the verdicts as a "whitewash" and called for an "international, independent and impartial investigation".

Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International's Middle East Research Director, said: "This verdict is a whitewash which brings neither justice nor the truth for Jamal Khashoggi and his loved ones.

"The trial has been closed to the public and to independent monitors, with no information available as to how the investigation was carried out.

"The verdict fails to address the Saudi authorities' involvement in this devastating crime or clarify the location of Jamal Khashoggi's remains.

"Saudi Arabia's courts routinely deny defendants access to lawyers and condemn people to death following grossly unfair trials.

"Given the lack of transparency from the Saudi authorities, and in the absence of an independent judiciary, only an international, independent and impartial investigation can serve justice for Jamal Khashoggi."