Saudi prosecutor seeking death penalty in Khashoggi case

Saudi prosecutor seeking death penalty in Khashoggi case
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Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor is reportedly seeking the death penalty for five suspects in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Deputy public prosecutor and spokesman Shaalan al-Shaalan told reporters that Khashoggi was killed by lethal injection after a struggle in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, Reuters reported.

“The Public Prosecutor has requested the death penalty for five individuals who are charged with ordering and committing the crime and for the appropriate sentences for the other indicted individuals,” Shaalan said. Six other suspects have been indicted in the case.

The Associated Press later reported that Turkey called the Saudi prosecutor's statement's "unsatisfactory" and insisted that the suspects be tried in Turkey.

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Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was last seen entering the consulate to pick up marriage papers. Turkish officials have claimed he was killed there and that his body was dismembered and disposed of as part of a premeditated operation.

Turkish officials and some U.S. lawmakers have indicated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was likely involved at some level in Khashoggi's death.

U.S. National security adviser John Bolton said earlier this month, however, that audio provided to him by Turkey exonerates the prince. 

The Saudis have offered changing explanations for what happened, initially denying knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts and later claiming he was killed in a "fight" gone wrong. A top Saudi official said late last month that the killing was "premeditated."