Court hearing opens in Jamal Khaskhoggi’s murder case

Court hearing of journalist Jamal Khaskhoggi opens Thursday in Riyadh and Saudi prosecutors are seeking death penalty for five suspects accused of eleven.

The Washington Post columnist was killed around three months ago at Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi prosecutors allege he was tied up and murdered by injecting an overdose of a sedative. His body was dismembered at the consulate.

Initially Saudi Arabia denied having any knowledge about the murder and presented shifting stories. Finally it was argued that a group of rogue operators were responsible for the murder of the Saudi royal family insider-turned critic.

Following admitting the journalist was killed in consulate, Saudi Arabia dismissed five high-ranking officials including media chief of bin Salman and deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service.

According to Saudi Foreign Minister a total of twenty-one people were detained in connection to Khaskhoggi’s murder and six officials removed.

The Kingdom has maintained their stand that both bin Salman and King Slaman were not aware of the operation that targeted Khaskhoggi.

United States officials claim the operation cannot be carried out without the authorization of bin Salman.

Khashoggi was close to royal family before Prince Mohammed came to power. Later he moved to the US and started writing for the Washington Post, mainly criticizing the Saudi government.

Paul Linus