Saudi prosecutor calls for death penalty for Khashoggi killers

Saudi prosecutor calls for death penalty for Khashoggi killers

Saudi prosecutor calls for death penalty for Khashoggi killers

U.S. officials, however, had said such a mission - including 15 men sent from Riyadh - could not have been carried out without the authorization of Bin Salman.

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

The trial of 11 individuals over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has begun in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, state media report.

Video footage released this week shows men carrying large bags into the Saudi consulate general's home in Istanbul, not far from the consulate where the murder took place.

The defence team on Thursday requested a copy of the charge sheet and a timeframe within which to review the charges.

The prosecutor agreed to both requests. No date was set for the next hearing.

The Washington Post journalist was a fierce critic of the Saudi government, the Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman and the country's king, Salman of Saudi Arabia, after originally being close to the royal circles.

Among Prince Mohammed's strongest allies is US President Donald Trump, who now faces increased pressure to approve measures against Saudi Arabia. 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 US Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly concluded that Prince Mohammed very likely ordered Mr Khashoggi's murder.

The kingdom has come under heavy global 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.

But in November the Saudi attorney general ruled out any involvement by the young crown prince.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

She also reiterated the United Nations rights office's constant opposition to the death penalty.

"This is why a UN-led and independent investigation is needed".

The whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains are still unknown.

"From the very beginning of this case, we've been pressing for justice.We've been calling for an independent investigation with global involvement", Shamdasani said.

Prosecutors announced that 11 suspects in the slaying attended their first court hearing with lawyers, however they have not been named. It gave no details on the next hearing.

Prosecutors say he was murdered in a "rogue" operation by agents sent to persuade him to return to the kingdom.

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