Monday, 06 April, 2020


Turkey Indicts Saudi Nationals in Khashoggi Murder, Demands Life Sentences

Turkey charges 20 Saudis over Khashoggi murder Istanbul prosecutor indicts Saudi suspects for Khashoggi killing
Bennie Garza | 25 March, 2020, 22:43

Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday charged 20 suspects including two former top aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal 2018 murder of Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi.

Prosecutors said an indictment accused former Saudi Deputy Intelligence Chief Ahmad Asiri and former royal aide Saud al-Qahtani with instigating the murder.

Eighteen others were accused of carrying out the killing of Khashoggi, who was a USA resident at the time of his murder and writing for The Washington Post.

In a statement to Reuters, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, urged USA authorities to release their findings on responsibility for Khashoggi's death, "including the responsibility of Saudi Arabia crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman".

Khashoggi's grisly slaying by Saudi agents in the kingdom's Consulate in Istanbul drew worldwide condemnation and cast a cloud of suspicion over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The prince, however, added that he wants strong relations with "all Islamic countries including Turkey". Khashoggi's remains have never been found.

Saudi authorities blamed a "rogue operation" for Khashoggi's death.

Investigators believe that as she waited outside, the 59-year-old was murdered and then dismembered.

A United Nations special rapporteur says Khashoggi was "the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible".

Fidan said investigations to find other suspects who had instigated the crime, joined in with the murder, or carried out activities to destroy evidence, were continuing.

The Turkish indictment was the latest sign that Erdogan's government would continue to highlight Khashoggi's case.

Mutreb, Tubaigy and Balawi had been among 11 on trial in Riyadh, during which sources said many of those accused defended themselves by saying they were carrying out Assiri's orders, describing him as the operation's "ringleader".

Five unnamed people were sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia in December while three others were handed jail terms totalling 24 years over the killing.

The Turkish prosecutor said a trial in absentia would be opened against the 20 suspects but did not give a date. But a Saudi prosecutor said that there was no evidence linking Al-Qahtani to the murder, and the court dropped the charges against Asiri, a decision criticised by human rights groups.

The prosecutor had already issued arrest warrants for the suspects, who are not in Turkey.

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