Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: the testimony of the journalist's fiancée on the first day of the trial

Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi, responds to journalists in Istanbul, July 3, 2020. REUTERS / Murad Sezer

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The trial of the alleged murderers of Jamal Khashoggi opened this Friday, July 3, before a Turkish assize court. The Saudi journalist was assassinated in early October 2018 in his country's consulate in Istanbul. The affair had caused an international scandal and a diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Riyadh. The trial is held in the absence of the 20 Saudi defendants.


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From our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer

It was with the story of Hatice Cengiz, fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi and sole complainant, that the trial of the alleged murderers of the Saudi journalist began.

The young woman is the last person to have seen Jamal Khashoggi alive, before entering the Saudi consulate on October 2, 2018. At the end of the hearing, she seemed both moved and confident: "  What happened remains for me a test both moral and psychological. But I trust Turkish justice. Our fight for justice will continue not only in Turkey, but also around the world.  "

This first hearing allowed the court to hear some of the 54 witnesses in this case. The dock was left empty. Saudi Arabia, where a closed trial was concluded in December, has refused to extradite its 20 nationals accused by Turkey of planning or committing the murder.

Agnes Callamard, United Nations rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, attended the hearing: “  The Saudi trial was just a travesty of justice. Here we have a space where victims are heard, where witnesses speak under oath. This is important for the truth, because other information will emerge. Yes, the trial in Turkey has many limits, but this is the best we can have at the moment.  "

The next trial hearing is scheduled for November 24.

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  • Turkey
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Justice

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