Saudi prosecutors sought the death penalty for five of 11 defendants charged with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as their high-profile trial opened in Riyadh on Thursday. President Trump has refused to place any blame with the Crown Prince, a close ally of son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner. Newly released audio recordings also reveal information about the events leading to and following the murder.
The prosecution is still waiting for evidence from Turkey, and interrogation is ongoing, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. Prosecutors have confirmed that they will seek the death penalty for five of the suspects.
The Kingdom is creating three government bodies to increase oversight of its intelligence operations, a move that follows the killing of Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate.
Officials in Ankara could not be immediately reached for comment.
Turkish authorities had previously said they had passed on investigatory evidence to Saudi Arabia.
Turkey has also demanded Saudi Arabia extradite those 18 suspects to be tried there for Khashoggi's killing. "The Saudi Public Prosecutor is still awaiting a response to these requests", an official from the Saudi embassy in Washington told CNN. Earlier this week, Turkish media published video footage showing the transfer of several suitcases and plastic bags from the Saudi consulate to the Saudi consul's residence.
Mr Khashoggi's body was dismembered inside the building and the body parts were then handed over to a local "collaborator" outside the grounds, according to Mr Shalaan.
Khashoggi, 59, entered the consulate October 2 as his fiancée waited outside.
The kingdom initially denied Khashoggi was killed, but changed its story and acknowledged his slaying weeks later.
"When Jamal Khashoggi wrote about the need for free expression in the Arab world (and everywhere), that freedom is not just about journalists". (EPA) Since his death, Jamal Khashoggi was named by TIME magazine as one of their coveted Persons of the Year for 2018.
Netflix confirmed Tuesday that it removed an episode of the satirical comedy show that criticises Saudi Arabia, after officials in the kingdom reportedly complained. As the kingdom reluctantly admitted the journalist was actually killed, Riyadh has received a barrage of criticism from politicians and media alike.
Minhaj also said that more attention should have been put on the war in Yemen, where an estimated 85,000 children under the age of five have died since 2015, before Khashoggi's death.
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