Turkey court charges 20 Saudi suspects over Khashoggi murder


Turkey has charged 20 suspects including two former aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the 2018 murder of Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

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

Khashoggi, 59, a ommentator 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.

Turkey carried out its own investigation into the murder after being unhappy with Saudi 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”.

Eighteen other suspects – including intelligence operative Maher Mutreb who frequently travelled with the crown prince on foreign tours, forensic expert Salah al-Tubaigy and Fahad al-Balawi, a member of the Saudi royal guard – were also charged with “deliberately and monstrously killing, causing torment”.

They face life in jail if convicted.