Turkish prosecutor requests Khashoggi murder case be transferred to Riyadh
Turkey has been reaching out to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in hopes of strengthening its economy amid rising inflation
By News Desk - March 31 2022

(Photo credit: Al-Mayadeen)

A Turkish prosecutor has asked a court to stop the trial in absentia of 26 Saudis implicated in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and called on Istanbul to transfer the case over to Riyadh.

On 31 March, the court said it would postpone the trial until 7 April while it consults with the ministry of justice regarding the prosecutor’s request.

The prosecutor was quoted as saying that the case “has been dragging because court orders cannot be executed on the grounds that the suspects are foreign nationals,” Turkish media reported.

The request comes as Turkey, currently facing severe economic inflation, attempts to repair its relations with the kingdom, which deteriorated after Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi officials have maintained that the killing was carried out by intelligence agents who had gone “rogue.” In 2019, a Saudi court tried 11 people implicated in the murder in a hearing that critics have said did not meet international standards.

Five of the agents were convicted and given death sentences while three were given prison sentences ranging between seven and 10 years. Three others were acquitted due to what the judge said was a “lack of sufficient evidence.”

The death sentences given to the five convicts were later commuted to 20-year prison sentences.

According to an investigative report by The Guardian last year, the three suspects who were acquitted are living and working in a luxury complex owned by the Saudi state intelligence agency.

The Turkish prosecutor said that the kingdom has asked for the case to be transferred back to them, and has promised to review the accusations against the 26 defendants tried in absentia in Turkey.

He added that Saudi Arabia must accept the request because the defendants are foreign citizens, therefore arrest warrants cannot be executed, and statements by suspects cannot be taken.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in January that he is planning a visit to Riyadh, a move which suggests that Turkey is mending ties with its Gulf rival in an attempt to bolster its economy.

Most Popular