On November 24th, local time, the 11th Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul, Turkey, held another hearing on the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi.
According to the latest available evidence, six new defendants were added to the case, including a deputy consul and an entourage of Saudi Arabia charged with “premeditated murder”; and four other Saudi citizens were charged with “destruction, concealment or tampering with evidence”.
Earlier, Turkish courts have charged 20 Saudi officials with the murder of Khashoggi, including Ahmed Assiri, the former deputy director of Saudi General Intelligence, and Suod Kakhtani, a former adviser to the Saudi royal family. As in the trial held in July, all defendants were absent from the trial. In addition, the case will be heard again on March 4 next year.
According to local Turkish media reports, during the trial, the judge heard a witness who was a friend of Khashoggi, who had been threatened by Suod Kakhtani, a former Saudi royal adviser. Khashoggi’s fiancee Khatij also attended the trial.
Just over two months ago, on September 7th, local time, the Saudi prosecutor’s office released the final judgment of the Khashoggi murder case. Five of the eight people involved were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, one was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, and the other two were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. Because the specific names of the defendants were not disclosed to the public, it was accused of lack of transparency in the trial.
Saudi journalist Khashoggi has contributed to the Washington Post and other media. Disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018. On the 20th of the same month, the Saudi prosecutor’s office announced that Khashoggi was dead; on the 25th of the same month, Saudi Attorney General Saud said that Khashoggi died in the murder.
Turkey indicted 20 suspects suspected of participating in the killing of Khashoggi in March 2020, citing the crime’s place in Istanbul. In July this year, the 11th Heavy Penalty Court of Istanbul held its first trial, and Khashoggi’s fiancee Khatij appeared as a plaintiff. Turkish prosecutors sought an increased life sentence for all defendants involved, the most severe sentence in the country since the abolition of the death penalty in 2002.