Saudi prosecutor: Death penalty for Khashoggi murder suspects
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Kingdom’s public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for 5 out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, his office said on Thursday.
The Khashoggi case made world headlines in early October when the self-exiled journalist disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
“The Public Prosecutor has requested the death penalty for 5 individuals who are charged with ordering and committing the crime and for the appropriate sentences for the other indicted individuals,” the office revealed.
He said the journalist was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Turkey after “negotiations” for his return to the Kingdom failed and that the person who ordered the killing was the head of the negotiating team that was sent to persuade Khashoggi to return back home.
He added that 21 people are being investigated, and 11 have been charged in the murder. However, he explained that the system of criminal procedure prohibits the disclosure of the names of the accused.
The spokesman also announced that 11 indicted suspects will be referred to court, while the investigation of the remaining suspects will continue in order to determine their involvement and their role in the crime.
The prosecution said that the premeditation of murder happened on Sept. 29, and that someone disabled the surveillance cameras at the consulate before carrying out the murder. This individual was identified following investigations, the prosecution said.
The prosecution’s spokesperson added that Saudi Arabia has asked Turkey to provide the Kingdom with the evidence and voice recordings relating to the case, but that they are still waiting for Turkey to take action on their request.
Saudi Arabia has also requested Turkey to sign a cooperation deal on a probe into Khashoggi murder.
The public prosecutor’s office “requested the brotherly Turkish authorities to sign a special cooperation mechanism specific to this case in order to provide them with the results of the investigation,” read a statement by the SPA news agency.
“The public prosecutor is still awaiting a response to these requests,” the statement concluded.
The public prosecutor also said a former adviser had been banned from traveling and remained under investigation, adding that the case has been transferred to court while investigations continue.
But prosecutor spokesman Shaalan al-Shaalan rejected allegations that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman directed the murder, AFP reports.
The Crown Prince had “no knowledge” of Khashoggi’s killing, Shaalan said.
What Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told journalists in Riyadh echoed Shaalan’s statement.
“Absolutely. The Crown Prince has nothing to do with this issue,” Jubeir said.