A Turkish witness who worked at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul said that he was asked to ignite the Tannour oven less than an hour after the late Jamal Khashoggi entered the consulate building, while a UN official expected that the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman would be included in the list of accused.
Zaki Demir, a local technician who worked for the Saudi consulate, told the first session of the trial of the Khashoggi killers, which was held on Friday, that he was summoned to the consulate’s residence after Khashoggi entered the neighboring consulate building to obtain his papers.
"There were five or six people ... They asked me to ignite the oven," he said. "There was an atmosphere of panic."
According to the indictment against 20 Saudis, including two prominent officials, Demir saw several meat skewers, and noticed that the marble slabs around the oven apparently changed color as if they had been cleaned with a chemical.
The consul driver said, in a separate statement of the indictment, that the consul ordered the purchase of raw kebab meat from a restaurant.
The indictment added that Demir offered to help open the car door when a car reached its windows, but he was asked to leave the park quickly.
Turkish officials have said that one of the theories the police are investigating is that Khashoggi's killers may have disposed of his body by burning it after being strangled and dismembered.
On Friday, the tightening penal court in Istanbul, Turkey, ended the first absentee hearings of 20 Saudi accused of killing Khashoggi inside his country's consulate in 2018, and the court postponed the second session of the case to November 24.
The Al-Jazeera correspondent said that the court had ordered that international fetch notes be kept, and that the absent defendants be brought to trial by force.
Among the most prominent names of the accused in the case are Saud Al-Qahtani, former adviser to the Saudi crown prince, and Ahmed Asiri, former deputy chief of Saudi intelligence.
The Turkish public prosecutor is demanding life imprisonment for the accused on charges of planning, incitement and murder in a brutal manner.
After testifying before the judge, Khadija Genghis’s fiancée Khashoggi confirmed that she believes in achieving justice in Turkey.
In turn, Yassin Aktai, advisor to the Chairman of the Justice and Development Party, confirmed that justice will prolong Khashoggi's killers sooner or later, and he accused Riyadh of not cooperating with the Turkish authorities.
The inclusion of Muhammad bin Salman
The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Anis Calamar, said she expected the Turkish prosecution to prepare another list of those accused in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which may include Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
The Calamar said the only country that has evidence of Prince Muhammad bin Salman's involvement in the Khashoggi killing is the United States, but the White House has obstructed steps taken by Congress to access information.
She noted that Turkey has done what is incumbent on the case of Khashoggi’s death, noting that the trial procedures in Turkey are more transparent and fair in stages than its counterpart in Saudi Arabia.
The trial that took place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia described the judicial comedy, and pointed out that the trial did not amount to a legal one, as it was conducted in secret, and did not prosecute the real perpetrators.
The private investigator, Kalamar, had concluded in her investigation that Khashoggi was brutally slaughtered, and that the crime of his murder represented extrajudicial execution.
Some western governments, as well as the CIA, have said they believe that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has ordered his killing, a charge denied by Saudi officials.
According to the rulings issued by Riyadh, which the Saudi public prosecutor announced regarding the case at the end of last year, no charges were brought against Al-Qahtani due to what was described as lack of evidence, as was the case of Al-Asiri, who was also released for the same reason, and the Saudi consul, Mohammed Al-Otaibi, was acquitted.
As for the five defendants who were sentenced to death without revealing their identities, it is likely that the sentences will not be executed against them after the Khashoggi family announced amnesty for his killers, which paves the way for a legal amnesty for the accused.
It is noteworthy that, on October 2, 2018, Khashoggi was killed inside his country's consulate in Istanbul, and the case has become among the most prominent and widely discussed in the international agenda since then.
After 18 days of denial, during which Riyadh provided conflicting explanations for the incident, it announced the death of Khashoggi after a fight with Saudis and the arrest of 18 citizens as part of the investigations, without revealing the location of the body.