Published: Fri, January 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Khashoggi murder trial opens in Saudi Arabia

Khashoggi murder trial opens in Saudi Arabia

The 11 suspects attended the hearings with their lawyers, a statement from the prosecutors said.

Eleven people charged in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been brought before a Saudi court for an initial hearing. None of the suspects have been named.

Saudi officials said in November that Qahtani - who has not spoken publicly since then - had been banned from travel pending the investigation but authorities have refused to disclose his whereabouts.

The prosecutor agreed to both requests, SPA said.

In addition to the three requests that had sent to the Turkish Public Prosecutor in October 2018, the Saudi Public Prosecution has sent two more requests on December 17 asking for evidence related to the killing of Khashoggi but have not received any response so far and is still waiting for an answer, the statement added.

Saudi Arabia said it also sent new letters to the Turkish public prosecutor asking for "any evidence connected to this case", which has rattled the Saudi royal court and damaged the reputation of 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

However, Turkey has drip fed gruesome details of the murder to media outlets including MEE.

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Seven of those men are bodyguards of the kingdom's de-facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, who denies giving the order to kill Khashoggi.

Ankara had demanded that the suspects be extradited to face trial in Istanbul, and is calling for a United Nations probe into the killing.

Ankara, which has pledged repeatedly to allow nobody to escape justice in the case, has sought the extradition of the suspects in Saudi custody to stand trial in Turkey.

The statement added that the Public Prosecution continues to investigate a number of accused in Khashoggi killing, while it sought execution for five accused in the crime.

A Turkish source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told MEE on Wednesday that Ankara was now focusing on gaining support for an worldwide investigation under the auspices of the United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres.

The Saudis claimed in late October that 18 suspects had been apprehended in connection with the murder, but their names have not been released. We don't know where they are held, if they are arrested.

The Khashoggi case has deeply strained worldwide relations with Turkey and much of the West, prompting a diplomatic outcry that such an attempt to silence a dissident would take place in a diplomatic setting. "They are not transparent at all", the Turkish source told MEE.

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