Prosecutors want to end Khashoggi’s murder trial in Turkey

Prosecutors in the case against 27 Saudi nationals accused of killing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday requested that the trial be adjourned in their absence and that the case be transferred to Saudi Arabia.

ANKARA, Turkey – Prosecutors in the case against 26 Saudi nationals accused of killing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday made a surprise request that the trial be adjourned in their absence and the case transferred to Saudi Arabia.

The panel of judges did not rule on the prosecutor’s request but decided that a letter would be sent to the Saudi judiciary seeking the opinion of the Turkish Ministry of Justice on the possible transfer of the file, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The trial was adjourned to a later date.

The prosecutor’s request comes as Turkey seeks to normalize its relations with Saudi Arabia, which has reached an all-time low following the heinous assassination of Khashoggi.

His assassination at the consulate also drew international condemnation and created a cloud of suspicion over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national who lived in the United States, visited his country’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, to collect documents for an appointment that would allow him to marry his Turkish fianc. He never went out.

Turkish authorities say he was killed by a group of Saudi agents who flew to Turkey to meet Khashoggi inside the consulate.

The defendants all fled Turkey, and Saudi Arabia rejected Turkey’s demand for their extradition. Some men were tried behind closed doors in Riyadh. Khashoggi’s family members later announced that they had pardoned his killers.

Prior to the assassination, Khashoggi had made critical remarks about the Saudi prince in a Washington Post column.

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