Turkey: Saudi suspects tried in absentia for Khashoggi death

A Turkish court has opened a trial in 2018 over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the absence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and 18 other Saudi citizens.

Turkish prosecutors have blamed 20 Saudi citizens for the murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, throwing a cloud of suspicion on Prince Mohammed. They are demanding that all the defendants who left Turkey be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Saudi Arabia has rejected Turkey's demands for extradition and has put some of them on trial in Riyadh. The actions were widely criticized as "whitewash," and the Khashoggi family later declared that she had forgiven the murderers.

The investigation in Turkey is under scrutiny for new information or clues in the murder, including the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains.

Turkish prosecutors have accused the prince's former advisers, Saud al-Kahtani and Ahmad al-Asiri, "of inciting (causing) the premeditated murder."

Prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment for 18 other Saudi nationals accused of premeditated murder for the purpose of inflicting grievous hurt by life imprisonment.

Khashoggi, a US resident, set out on foot at his country's consulate on October 2, 2018, to recruit documents that would allow him to marry. He never went out.

A group of 15 Saudi agents traveled to Turkey to meet with Khashoggi inside the Consulate. These include the Forensic Doctor, the Intelligence and Security Officer, and the people who worked in the Crown Prince's office.

Turkish officials allege that Kashoggi was killed from a bone cut. Saudi Arabia's rival Turkey rebelled against the Saudi consulate and shared audio of the assassination with the CIA.

Prior to his assassination, Qashogi wrote to the Saudi Arabian crown prince in a column for the Washington Post.

Saudi Arabia initially offered a transfer regarding the disappearance of Khashogi. The state has finally settled on the explanation that rogue officials killed it in the rebellion as Turkish leaks increased international pressure.

Turkish prosecutors said the accused initially acted with consent. She decided to take the victim back to Saudi and kill her if she did not agree.

Riyadh insisted that the state courts were the right place to prosecute the accused and that 11 were tried on murder charges. In December, five were sentenced to death and three others were sentenced to 24 years in prison after being convicted of covering up the crime.

In the month of Muslim holy Ramadan in May, Khashoggi's son apologized to the family killers and sentenced five government agents to death.

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