ANKARA – A Turkish court has decided to suspend the trial in absentia of 26 …
Saudi nationals accused of killing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen living in the U.S., and to transfer the case to Saudi Arabia on April 7, raising fears of impunity.
Khashoggi was known for writing critically of the Saudi regime and in particular Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and had been killed on October 2, 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Khashoggi had gone to the consulate by appointment in order to receive the necessary documents to marry his fiancée of Turkish citizenship, Hatice Cengiz. Khashoggi never left the building and was reportedly tortured, murdered and hacked to pieces inside the Saudi consulate. According to Turkish officials cited by Associated Press, the crimes were committed by a team of Saudi agents sent to Istanbul. The group included a medical examiner, intelligence and security agents and individuals working for the crown prince’s office. To date, Khashoggi’s remains have not been found.
The Istanbul court’s decision comes despite warnings from multiple human rights groups that transferring the case to the Kingdom would lead to a cover-up of the murder, which has raised suspicions about Prince bin Salman.