Saudi suspects indicted in Turkey in Khashoggi killing

Saudi suspects indicted in Turkey in Khashoggi killing
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Prosecutors in Istanbul announced an indictment on Wednesday against two people, including a former Saudi intelligence official and an associate of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in connection with the 2018 killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office alleged that the two were the instigators of the journalist’s death at the Saudi Consulate, while naming 18 other people who allegedly carried it out, Reuters reported.

Former deputy head of Saudi general intelligence Ahmed al-Asiri and former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani “instigated premeditated murder with monstrous intent,” according to the indictment, which says the 18 others included three intelligence officials.

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The indictment cites an analysis of phone records, witness statements and information gleaned from Khashoggi’s computers and phones, as well as the suspects’ entry and exit into Turkey and presence at the consulate.

Asiri and Qahtani were dismissed in the wake of Khashoggi’s killing. Asiri was tried in Saudi Arabia but released due to lack of evidence, and Qahtani never fully charged. A Saudi court sentenced three people to imprisonment and five more to death in connection with the killing in December, but a United Nations rapporteur has condemned the verdict, saying the unidentified convicts were not the masterminds.

While the crown prince has denied ordering the killing, numerous intelligence agencies, including the CIA, have concluded it was done at his behest.

The killing has threatened both Saudi-Turkish relations and Crown Prince Mohammed’s attempts to portray himself as a reformer who wishes to roll back some of the kingdom’s fundamentalist policies on women’s rights.