Saudi prosecutor demands death penalty for five over Khashoggi murder

Frederick Owens
November 15, 2018

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor on Thursday said that 11 suspects had been indicted over the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and that he requested the death penalty for five of them.

He added that Saud al-Qahtani, a former advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is also under investigation and barred from traveling overseas.

Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor announced new charges in last month's killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

Rumours have swirled about the cause of death of Khashoggi, with Saudi Arabia initially claiming he died in a fight.

But spokesman Shaalan al-Shaalan denied Prince Mohammed had any knowledge of the killing.

Qahtani has been banned from travel and is now under investigation, the prosecutor's office said, but did not reveal the fate of Assiri.

He added that it was "the head of the negotiating team" dispatched to seize Khashoggi who then gave the order to kill him. "We played them to all who wanted them including the Saudis, the USA, France, Canada, Germany, Britain", he said.

However, it appears al-Mojeb has stopped short of accusing al-Assiri of ordering the killing itself - further distancing the killers from the crown prince's inner circle.

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A former deputy chief of the kingdom's intelligence service was the one who ordered the formation of a squad sent to Turkey in an attempt to convince Khashoggi to return to his homeland, the official said.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile overseas for almost a year before he was killed by Saudi agents at the consulate on October 2.

According to Turkish officials, Khashoggi was killed, his body was dismembered, the body parts were dissolved in acid and then the liquid remains were poured down a drain.

"The leader of the mission to repatriate Khashoggi made a decision to kill him when he failed to convince him to return", Shaalan said.

Cavusoglu, who repeated Turkey's demand that the 15-man team involved in the murder be tried in his country, said the killing was premeditated and that equipment was brought into Turkey to dismember the body.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said the order to murder Khashoggi came from the upper echelons of the Saudi government.

"We are waiting for a response from Turkey for our request to receive evidence and audio recordings related to the case", he said.

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