In Bid to Mend Ties, Turkey to Transfer Khashoggi Trial to Saudi Arabia

A U.S. report last year found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved an operation to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, though Riyadh denies this

Reuters
Reuters
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Friends of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold posters bearing his picture as they attend an event marking the second-year anniversary of his assassination. Saudi Arabia on October 2, 2020
Friends of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold posters bearing his picture as they attend an event marking the second-year anniversary of his assassination. Saudi Arabia on October 2, 2020
Reuters
Reuters

A Turkish court has decided to halt its trial of Saudi suspects over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and transfer the case to Saudi authorities, as Turkey seeks to improve its relationship with Riyadh.

Last week the prosecutor called for the Istanbul trial in absentia of 26 Saudi suspects to be transferred to Saudi authorities. Turkey's justice minister later said the government would approve the request, which was condemned by rights groups.

Khashoggi's killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul four years ago triggered a global outcry and put pressure on Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A U.S. intelligence report released a year ago said the prince had approved the operation to kill or capture Khashoggi, but the Saudi government denied any involvement by the crown prince and rejected the report's findings.

Turkish officials said they believe Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the crown prince, was killed and his body dismembered in an operation which President Tayyip Erdogan said had been ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.

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