Suspects in Khashoggi’s killing brought before Saudi court

Suspects in Khashoggi’s killing brought before Saudi court

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last year.

Thursday's report from the Saudi press agency did not indicate why only eleven of them were in court or what has become of the other seven.

Saudi Arabia said it also sent new letters to the Turkish public prosecutor asking for "any evidence connected to this case".

No names of the defendants have been officially released.

The Saudi Human Rights Commission attended the first session held by the criminal court to sue the indicted by the general prosecution in the murder of late citizen Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi officials initially denied Khashoggi had been killed but later said he had died in a "fist-fight" inside the consulate.

The trial came three months after the Washington Post columnist and Saudi royal family insider-turned-critic was killed and allegedly dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Defence lawyers requested a copy of the indictment sheet and time to review it.

A date for the second hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Khashoggi had written columns critical of Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"President Trump has pledged the US will remain a "steadfast partner" to Saudi Arabia and cast doubt on the Central Intelligence Agency conclusions", NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

Still, the Trump administration has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials believed to be involved in the act, NPR's Jackie Northam reports. Saudi Arabia was the world's third top executioner in 2017, behind China and Iran, according to Amnesty International's most recent figures available.

The kingdom has come under heavy worldwide pressure, including from the United States, its closest ally, whose Senate has voted in favour of a resolution blaming the crown prince for the murder.

The Public Prosecution demanded the death sentence for five defendants.

Saudi Arabia has refused Turkey's request to extradite 18 suspects for trial, including 15 alleged agents who it says flew to Istanbul to carry out the killing.

Speaking to press members in Geneva, Ravina Shamdasani reiterated the office's call for an independent investigation, "with global involvement", into the incident.

The whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains are still unknown. The public prosecutor has requested the death penalty for five of the accused, who were not identified in accordance with Saudi law.

Earlier statements said another 10 people were also being investigated.

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