Saudi Arabia puts Khashoggi’s murder suspects on trial.
After months of the murder of Washington columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia Has finally placed the eleven suspects who were believed to have murdered the journalist. The suspects appeared in court for their first hearing in the capital Riyadh.
The official Saudi Press Agency said the prosecutor, the country’s attorney general, has demanded the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects.
A statement from prosecutors said the suspects attended the hearing with their lawyers.
The statement also said that prosecutors sent a request to Turkey for evidence that Ankara has collected while investigating the slaying, which has badly hurt the kingdom’s international reputation and strained its ties with Western countries.
They have been an outcry over the murder of the journalist, which international bodies have mounted pressure on the Saudi Arabia authority to find a lasting solution to Khashoggi’s murder. In December 2018, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey was working with other countries to carry the investigation into Khashoggi’s killing to the UN, which the UN is yet to receive a formal request from the Turkish government.
Questions also remain over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in ordering the killing, with several western intelligence agencies alluding that he had knowledge of the operation beforehand.
A number of US senators have also questioned Saudi claims that the crown prince was unaware of the killing, which authorities in Riyadh described as an operation undertaken by “rogue elements”.
“You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters in December.
Khashoggi’s body, believed to have been dismembered, has not been found.