Saudi prosecutors said Thursday they would seek the death penalty for five people allegedly involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
A total of 11 people were charged, the Saudi Public Prosecutor’s office said, adding that the five people facing capital punishment were directly involved in “ordering and executing the crime.”
The prosecution also shared details of the journalist’s murder, saying Khashoggi was killed on October 2 following “a fight and a quarrel” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Prosecutors say Khashoggi was tied up and injected with an overdose of a sedative that killed him, then his body was chopped up and given to a local collaborator.
Saudi prosecutors said Thursday they would seek the death penalty for five people allegedly involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi prosecutors said Thursday they would seek the death penalty for five people allegedly involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Saudi Public Prosecutor’s office added that former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.
They were divided into three groups, it said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecution said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called the Saudi Public Prosecutor’s statement “unsatisfactory,” reiterating a call for the culprits to be prosecuted under Turkish laws.
“They say (Khashoggi) resisted going back to their country and was killed. However, this murder was premeditated as we had announced before,” Cavusoglu told reporters.
“The dismembering of the body is not an instant decision. They brought the necessary people and tools to kill him and dismember the body in advance,” he added.
While Cavusoglu said that the Saudi decision to charge 11 defendants was a “positive step,” it’s “not enough.””The identity of those who gave the orders should be revealed. It should not be covered up,” he added.The prosecution also revealed that the Royal Court advisor, Saud Qahtani, is banned from traveling pending the investigation into the murder.Qahtani led the communications team of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and was removed from his role last month following Khashoggi’s death.
These details come after The New York Times reported that people familiar with the audio recording say it contains an instruction to “tell your boss.” American intelligence officials believe is a reference to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the audio recording was a “true disaster” that “shocked” the Saudi intelligence officer who heard it, pro-government Turkish newspaper the Daily Sabah reported on Tuesday.
Riyadh has maintained that neither bin Salman nor his father, King Salman, knew of the operation to target Khashoggi, an American resident.CNN has not heard the recording and is unable to verify the voices on the tape or what they’re purported to say.
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