A Saudi court on Monday overturned five death sentences over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder in a final ruling that was condemned by his fiancee and slammed by a UN expert as a "parody of justice".
Eight unnamed defendants were handed jail terms of between seven and 20 years in a verdict that comes after Khashoggi's sons "pardoned" the killers in May, paving the way for a less severe punishment.
"Five convicts were sentenced to 20 years in prison... one person was sentenced to 10 years and two others to seven years," the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a spokesman for the public prosecutor.
None of the defendants were named in what was described as the final court ruling on the murder, which triggered an international outcry.
Hatice Cengiz, the Turkish fiancee of the slain journalist, branded the verdict a "farce".
"The ruling handed down today in Saudi Arabia again makes a complete mockery of justice," Cengiz said on Twitter.
Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, slammed the ruling as "one more act today in this parody of justice".
"These verdicts carry no legal or moral legitimacy," Callamard wrote on Twitter. "They came at the end of a process which was neither fair, nor just, or transparent."
The 59-year-old Khashoggi, was killed and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 and his remains have not been found
Riyadh has described the murder as a "rogue" operation, but both the CIA and a UN special envoy have directly linked Prince Mohammed to the killing, a charge the kingdom vehemently denies.
In December, a Saudi court exonerated two of the crown prince's top aides over the murder -- deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri and the royal court's media czar Saud al-Qahtani. Both aides were formally sacked over the killing.
The closed-door trial of 11 suspects ended in December with five unnamed people sentenced to death and three others handed jail terms totalling 24 years over the killing.
The sons of Khashoggi said they forgave his killers in May this year.
The family's pardon paved the way for Monday's reduced sentences, including clemency for the five people on death row.
In July, 20 Saudi suspects including Assiri and Qahtani went on trial in absentia in Turkey.
The former top aides were formally charged in March with "instigating the deliberate and monstrous killing, causing torment".
* This story was edited by Ahram Online