Jamal Khashoggi murder: Saudi Arabia calls for the DEATH PENALTY

Jamal Khashoggi murder: Saudi Arabia calls for the DEATH PENALTY

The initial hearing of the case started today, Thursday (Jan 3) in the criminal court of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

In response to a question about the seeking of death sentences for five suspects by a Saudi prosecutor, she said the United Nations rights office always opposed the death penalty.

The accused attended the hearing with their lawyers, but a full list of their names was not released to the public, the Associated Press reported, citing state media.

The attorney general also revealed that the Public Prosecutors had waited until now to get information about the case from its Turkish counterpart.

In addition to the three requests that had sent to the Turkish Public Prosecutor in October 2018, the Saudi Public Prosecution has sent two more requests on December 17 asking for evidence related to the killing of Khashoggi but have not received any response so far and is still waiting for an answer, the statement added.

Saudi Arabian prosecutors is seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects detained over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the state news agency SPA said on Thursday, as a Saudi court held a first hearing on the case.

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Saudi King Salman sacked Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to Prince Mohammed, Istanbul Consul General Mohammed Alotaibi and former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Asiri in connection with Khashoggi's murder.

Jamal Khashoggi died in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Saudi Arabia previously said it had arrested 18 people in relation to Khashoggi's murder.

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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".

Turkish media have published photographs of members of the crown prince's entourage at the consulate in Istanbul ahead of the slaying. Saudi Arabia has sent two previous letters to the prosecutor in Turkey. Khashoggi's body, believed to have been dismembered, has not been found. After producing various contradictory explanations, Riyadh acknowledged weeks later that he was killed inside the consulate building, blaming the act on a botched rendition operation. 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.

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

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