In 2020, it opened its doors without closing the investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, amid a Saudi effort to close it and Turkish attempts to accomplish it, until that day.
Today, a court in Istanbul held the first absentee hearings of 20 Saudi defendants, amid questions about the feasibility of the trial in light of its absence, and the possibility of implementing its rulings.
Although Riyadh has refused to hand over the suspects to appear before the judiciary, the importance of the judicial process is due to the fact that it is the first public trial in the Khashoggi killing, according to observers.
Court progress The
tough penal court in Istanbul ended the first absentee hearing of those accused of killing the Saudi journalist Khashoggi inside his country's consulate in 2018, and postponed the second session of the case to November 24.
The court judge heard the testimonies of Turkish officials at the consulate and officials close to Khashoggi, in addition to his fiancée.
According to Al-Jazeera, the Turkish court ordered to keep international fetching notes in the Khashoggi case and bring the absentees to trial by force, and also asked the International Police Department (Interpol) in Turkey to communicate with his Saudi counterpart and awaiting his response to bring the accused.
The Istanbul Public Prosecution prepared a 117-page indictment against the defendants against whom an arrest warrant was issued in the context of the murder of Khashoggi, and the list demands the life sentence of Ahmed Asiri and Saud Al-Qahtani, who are close to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The list also demands a life sentence for the other 18 people on charges of "brutal killing, brutality and torture."
The indictment stated that Khashoggi was suffocated to death and his body shredded, and his remains were not found.
The Turkish public prosecutor is calling for a life sentence for all of them, which is the most severe punishment in Turkey since the abolition of the death penalty in 2002.
It is noteworthy that 16 lawyers from the Istanbul Bar Association were appointed to defend the accused in this case.
Witnesses and testimonies
According to Turkish media, Khadija Genghis Khashoggi's fiancée stood before the judges' bench and testified, speaking about the day when her future was lost.
In brief comments after the hearing, Khashoggi described a friend, colleague, ally, and companion of many people, not just her.
"The operation was very psychological damaging to me," she said, but she pledged to continue to follow the trial closely, and expressed confidence in the Turkish judiciary.
In his testimony before the court, Yasin Aktai, advisor to the head of the Turkish Justice and Development Party, said that Saudi Crown Prince Saud al-Qahtani expelled the son of Jamal Khashoggi from his job to put pressure on his father, and added, “Khashoggi told me that Al-Qahtani threatened one of his sons and asked him to stop criticizing the regime.”
Qattai continued, "Jamal told me that what is happening in Yemen prompted me to write articles critical of the Saudi regime," and pointed out that Khashoggi told him that the Saudi regime "requires his citizens to obey him regarding what is going on in Yemen."
In turn, the Turkish security officer accompanying the Saudi consul confirmed in his testimony to the court that the consul "asked him to take leave on the day that Khashoggi was killed."
Condemnation, arrest, and arrest
In this context, Nazif Karman, author of the book “Wild Diplomacy… The Dark Secrets of Khashoggi’s Crime,” stated that “the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi occurred in Turkey, and according to Turkish and international law, the trial of criminals should be on the land where the crime occurred. Especially since we witnessed a farce in Saudi Arabia.
The Turkish writer told Al-Jazeera Net that Turkey will continue to work with INTERPOL to bring the defendants to trial in Turkey and then get them to punish, and here the importance of holding the court also.
He added, "The sons of Jamal Khashoggi do not have the right to pardon the murderers of their father because it is a public opinion case and it is a crime against humanity. In addition, Mrs. Khadija Genghis, the fiancé of the victim, did not forgive the killers, but rather repeatedly demanded that they be tried, pursued and arrested."
Kerman pointed out that the court has a symbolic value and comes in the context of nominating those responsible for the official killing of Khashoggi.
The Turkish writer stressed that the court’s evidence and the results of its ruling will help in the future in any international trial of the killers, and will provide important information for the international court.
He pointed out that the trial revived the case again and it encouraged politicians and parliamentarians to continue discussing the issue.
For his part, a private source in the Communication Department of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey told Al-Jazeera Net that the court's contract came in coordination with the International Interpol, which will not be able to prosecute and arrest the killers except upon an official request after they were formally convicted in a public trial.
The source stated that Riyadh tried repeatedly during the last period to settle the Khashoggi issue with Ankara, stressing that it is not within the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to settle the issue under any circumstances.
It is the first time that the judicial system has assumed its responsibilities, and it talks about Jamal Khashoggi, his murder, witnesses, and victims in an internationally recognized way, ”said the Saudi crown prince , Anis Kalamar, who investigated the Khashoggi killing. ".
"I don't know why the Saudi crown prince was not charged today, because he resembled a head of state?" She said, stressing that this will be done at some point in the trial.
Last December, Riyadh stated that it had sentenced five people to death after a trial that was held in secret, and the Saudi court acquitted Asiri Square and did not accuse al-Qahtani.
The sons of Khashoggi later stated that they had decided to pardon the murderers of their father, which paved the way for the postponement of the punishment.