20 Saudis pursued by Turkey, including two close to the crown prince

After an investigation of more than a year into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey announced on Wednesday that it has launched proceedings against 20 Saudis, including two close to the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Twenty Saudis are now facing prosecution in the Khashoggi case. Following an investigation of more than a year into the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018, Turkey announced on Wednesday March 25 that it has launched proceedings against 20 Saudi nationals, including two close to the prince heir Mohammed ben Salmane.

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In a statement, the Istanbul Attorney General’s office said that an indictment had been prepared, which opens the way for a trial, the date of which is not known to date.

In the indictment, ex-adviser Saoud al-Qahtani and former intelligence number two and General Ahmed al-Assiri, both close to the Saudi crown prince, are identified as the perpetrators of the murder.

The latter are accused of having ordered “premeditated voluntary homicide with the intention of inflicting suffering”. Eighteen other suspects are accused of having taken part in this murder.

Life imprisonment

International arrest warrants have also been issued by the Turkish authorities, said the prosecutor’s office.

During the investigation, Turkish police searched the Saudi consulate and vehicles belonging to the diplomatic mission. They also examined the telephone bills of certain suspects and gathered the testimony of more than 50 people.

Collaborator of the Washington Post and critic of the Saudi regime after being close to it, Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in October 2018 in the Saudi consulate where he went to retrieve a document.

According to Turkey, he was strangled, and then his body was cut. The remains of the 59-year-old editorialist’s body have never been found.

This assassination plunged Saudi Arabia into one of its worst diplomatic crises in addition to tarnishing the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as “MBS”, designated by Turkish and American officials as the sponsor of the murder.

The Riyadh authorities, after denying the murder and then putting forward several contradictory versions, claimed that the acts were committed by Saudi agents who acted alone and without orders from senior leaders.

Five Saudis were sentenced to death last year following a top secret trial in Saudi Arabia. However, no charges have been brought against Saoud al-Qahtani. Ahmed al-Assiri was acquitted.

With AFP

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