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Wednesday February 28, 2024

Turkey charges 20 Saudis over Khashoggi murder

March 26, 2020

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday charged 20 suspects including two former top officials over the brutal 2018 murder of Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi.

Prosecutors accuse Saudi Arabia´s deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri and the royal court´s media tsar Saud al-Qahtani of leading the operation against Khashoggi and giving orders to a Saudi hit team.

Khashoggi, 59, a commentator who wrote for The Washington Post, was killed after he entered the Saudi consulate on October 2, 2018, to obtain paperwork for his wedding to Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz.

The Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a 15-man Saudi squad inside the consulate, according to Turkish officials. His remains have never been found despite repeated calls by Turkey for the Saudis to cooperate.

Riyadh insists he was killed in a "rogue" operation.

Turkey carried out its own investigation after being unhappy with Saudi Arabia’s explanations.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office said in a statement that Assiri and Qahtani were charged with "instigating the deliberate and monstrous killing, causing torment”.

The murder caused relations between Ankara and Riyadh — longstanding rivals — to worsen.