NEW DELHI: Five Saudi officials face the death penalty for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the latest effort to distance the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from the grisly murder.
Mr Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi rulers who was last seen entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his marriage. The Saudi public prosecutor claimed Saudi agents, including the head of forensics at the national intelligence service and members of Prince Mohammed’s security detail, had orders to abduct Khashoggi but decided to kill him when he resisted.
After repeated denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted in mid October that Khashoggi had been murdered at the compound, but blamed it on a “rogue” operation. On Thursday Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, described the Saudi statement as insufficient and insisted the killing had been premeditated.