Prosecutors call for death penalty as Khashoggi murder trial opens in Riyadh

Prosecutors call for death penalty as Khashoggi murder trial opens in Riyadh

Prosecutors call for death penalty as Khashoggi murder trial opens in Riyadh

Even as the search for Khashoggi's body continued in Turkey, and Ankara and Riyadh clashed over where the case should be heard, proceedings began in the Saudi Arabian capital.

The prosecutor's office said it was seeking the death penalty for five individuals of the 11 indicted.

All 11 accused were present with their lawyers at the opening hearing, according to a statement by the attorney general carried by Saudi's state press agency. Prosecutors revealed few details about the proceedings.

The Public Prosecutor also said they had asked for Turkey to provide evidence for the trial, but had not received a reply.

A Saudi prosecutor is seeking capital punishment for five of the 11 suspects now detained over the death of Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom's Istanbul consulate last October. He was last seen entering the consulate on October 2.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was murdered in what Riyadh called a "rogue" operation, tipping the kingdom into one of its worst diplomatic crises and tarnishing the reputation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi state media said Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, that suspects in the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have attended their first court hearing.

In November, the Saudi prosecutor announced that 11 Saudis had been charged over the murder, with 10 others under suspicion and in custody.

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Turkish officials told MEE this week that Saudi authorities have themselves continued to provide inadequate information on the case and were obstructing Turkey's investigation.

Earlier this week, Turkish media published video footage showing the transfer of several suitcases and plastic bags from the Saudi consulate to the Saudi consul's residence.

Mr Khashoggi's body was dismembered inside the building and the body parts were then handed over to a local "collaborator" outside the grounds, according to Mr Shalaan.

The kingdom initially denied Mr Khashoggi was murdered but - under increasing worldwide condemnation - later changed its story and admitted the 59-year-old was killed as part of a "rogue operation".

Seven of those men are bodyguards of the kingdom's de-facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, who denies giving the order to kill Khashoggi.

For decades he was close to the Saudi royal family and also served as an adviser to the government.

In his last column, he criticised Saudi involvement in war in Yemen.

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