‘Saudi court fails to meet expectations on Khashoggi’

‘Saudi court fails to meet expectations on Khashoggi’
# 24 December 2019 02:00 (UTC +04:00)

A Monday Saudi court ruling on the 2018 murder in Istanbul of journalist Jamal Khashoggi falls far short of expectations, said Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

“The ruling of the relevant court in Saudi Arabia announced today on the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi falls short of the expectations of Turkey and the international community for the clarification of all aspects of this murder and the serving of justice,” Hami Aksoy, a ministry spokesman, said in a written statement on Monday.

"The fact that important aspects such as the fate of Mr. Khashoggi’s body, the masterminds of the murder and any local collaborators remain in the dark, is a fundamental lapse of justice and violates the principle of accountability," he added.

Aksoy reiterated Turkey’s expectation of cooperation from Saudi authorities.

"It is not only a judicial but also a conscientious responsibility and obligation that this murder, which was perpetrated in Turkish soil, is clarified and all those responsible, including its masterminds, are identified and held accountable," he said.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post and a U.S. resident, was murdered after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 of last year on a visit to pick up paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

A Saudi court on Monday sentenced five people to death for taking part in the murder.

Speaking at a press conference in Riyadh on Monday, Saudi Deputy Public Prosecutor and spokesman Shalaan al-Shalaan said 11 people have been put on trial in connection with Khashoggi's killing.

He said three people were given jail terms totaling 24 years in prison for their role in covering up the crime and violating law.

Al-Shalaan said the court dismissed the charges against three other suspects and found them not guilty.

He said former royal adviser Saud al-Qahtani was investigated and was not charged in the killing.

Al-Shalaan said Mohammed al-Oteibi, the former consul general in Istanbul, was also not charged and released because "he was not at the consulate at the time of the killing."

He said Ahmed Assiri, the former intelligence deputy chief, was investigated and released after no evidence was found implicating him in the murder.

Prosecutors did not file charges against 10 other individuals and released them due to insufficient evidence, al-Shalaan added.