The trial in the absence of 20 Saudis opens Friday in Istanbul, two years after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The trial of 20 Saudis accused by Turkey of murdering Jamal Khashoggi begins at Istanbul’s main court on Friday, July 3, at 10 am local time (9 am Paris time). The 59-year-old Saudi journalist, the power defender from the Saudi royal family and the Washington Post collaborator, was murdered and then cut into pieces on October 2, 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he had been handed over to obtain a document, according to Turkey. The remains of the victim were never discovered. The initiation of the trial has not been officially confirmed.
Turkish justice has issued arrest warrants for all accused, who are not in Turkey and facing the death penalty. They will therefore be tried in the absence. Among them is the former deputy chief of intelligence services, General Ahmed al-Assiri, and former royal court adviser Saoud al-Qahtani. They are accused by Turkish prosecutors for leading the operation to eliminate Khashoggi and for ordering a team of Saudi agents. The two are relatives of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been named the sponsor of the assassination of Turkish and American officials.
Khashoggi trial: “Everything about the case allows Turkey to show itself in its best light”
The UN Special Rapporteur is present at the trial
Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for extraordinary, summary or arbitrary executions, is expected to participate in the trial.
Jamal Khashoggi’s children said at the end of May that they had forgiven their father’s killer. The victim’s Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who told AFP that she would be present at the trial, however, said at the time that “no one has the right to forgive”. We will not forgive the murderers or those who ordered the murder, ”she said.
After denying the murder and then submitting several versions of the facts, Riyadh claimed that it was committed by Saudi agents who allegedly act alone and without receiving orders from their leaders.
Saudi courts have also taken up the Khashoggi case. After a trial in Saudi Arabia, five Saudis were sentenced to death and three others to prison for the murder, of a total of 11 people accused. The judgment issued last December was criticized by international human rights organizations.