Turkish trial in Khashoggi killing “nearing impasse” -journalism watchdog

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish courtroom resumed a trial over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday, as a journalism watchdog described the case as “nearing impasse” and stated the listening to wanted to incorporate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s position.

Khashoggi, a critic of Prince Mohammed, was final seen getting into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. Turkish officers consider his physique was dismembered and eliminated. His stays haven’t been discovered.

A U.S. intelligence report launched in March stated Prince Mohammed had authorized the operation to kill or seize Khashoggi in Oct. 2018. The Saudi authorities has denied any involvement by the crown prince and rejected the report’s findings.

Whereas Washington imposed sanctions on a few of these concerned, it spared the crown prince himself.

Two requests by legal professionals for Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancee, to have the U.S. report added to the case in Turkey have been rejected by the courtroom in earlier classes.

The Turkish courtroom is attempting 26 Saudis in absentia on numerous prices associated to Khashoggi’s homicide. On Tuesday the courtroom requested the Justice Ministry ship a letter to Saudi Arabia, asking about those that have been sentenced in a trial held within the Kingdom, in order that they don’t obtain a punishment twice.

In September 2020, a Saudi courtroom jailed eight individuals for between seven and 20 years over the killing in a trial critics stated lacked transparency. Not one of the defendants was named.

Erol Onderoglu, consultant for Reporters With out Borders (RSF), stated justice couldn’t be served on account of the trial if it didn’t embody Prince Mohammed.

“Everybody is aware of that the judicial course of can be symbolic so long as the defendants should not caught and returned to Turkey,” he stated, describing the case as “nearing impasse.”

Tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi’s killing have led to a casual Saudi boycott of Turkish items. However Ankara has softened its rhetoric and criticism of Riyadh and the 2 international locations have been working to normalise ties after a collection of telephone calls between President Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman.

The advance in relation comes as Turkey has been working to fix ties with different international locations within the area, together with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

“The indicators in direction of Turkey-Saudi relations getting nearer are in fact elevating concern that the case might be moved into the shadows, might be pushed into the background,” RSF’s Onderoglu stated.

The considerations had been raised by the Istanbul prosecutor’s workplace not requesting the CIA report and the courtroom not including it to the case, he stated.

The following listening to can be held on Feb. 24.

(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Enhancing by Daren Butler, William Maclean)



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