Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: trial in absentia of 20 Saudis begins in Turkey

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. REUTERS / Osman Orsal / File Photo

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Turkish justice begins to try in absentia this Friday, July 3, the 20 Saudis whom it accuses of the assassination, in October 2018 in Istanbul, of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Among the accused, two relatives of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, suspected by the Turkish authorities of having ordered the crime. The affair had caused a diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Riyadh.


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From our correspondent in Istanbul , Anne Andlauer

A year and nine months after the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, where he thought he was going for simple formalities before marrying his Turkish fiancee, the journalist's friends finally attend the trial of his murderers alleged. There are 20 of them, all Saudis, but none will face the judges, their country having refused to extradite them to Turkey.

The justice system accuses 18 of them of having taken direct part in the assassination, and two others of having ordered and planned the crime. The latter are relatives of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: his former adviser Saoud al-Qahtani and the former number two of Saudi intelligence, General Ahmed al-Assiri. The two men were whitewashed by Saudi justice.

Life imprisonment claimed

The Istanbul prosecution is demanding against them and against all the defendants an incompressible sentence of life imprisonment for their role in this homicide described as "  voluntary, premeditated  " and "  monstrous  ".

The journalist's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz , and the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard, are to attend the opening of the trial. It should not, however, solve the main conundrum of this world-wide affair: where are the remains of Jamal Khashoggi?

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  • Turkey
  • Justice
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Mohammed ben Salman