Turkey Prosecutor Asks to Halt Trial of Saudis Accused of Khashoggi killing

A Turkish prosecutor has asked a court at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Thursday to halt the trial in absentia of 26 Saudi suspects over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 and transfer the case to Saudi authorities.

The prosecutor said the case “has been dragging because the court orders cannot be executed on the grounds that the suspects are foreign nationals.”

According to reports, the Saudi court responded and said it would ask for the justice ministry’s opinion on the request and set the next hearing for April 7.

On October 2, 2018, Khashoggi, 59, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkish officials believed his body was dismembered and removed. 

Saudi officials said agents who had gone “rogue” committed the murder. 

In September 2020, a Saudi court jailed eight people over Khashoggi’s killing but did not identify the defendants.

In November, the Turkish court asked Saudi’s justice ministry about the identity of those who had been sentenced in the kingdom, however, Saudi authorities asked for the case to be transferred to them instead and for the red notices against the suspects to be lifted.

A US intelligence report said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the operation to kill or capture Khashoggi, which the Saudi government has denied any involvement by the crown prince and rejected the findings of the report.

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