Saudi calls for execution of 5 chrged with murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi calls for execution of 5 chrged with murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
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Srinagar: Eleven people have been charged in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing after last being seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in September.

Saudi prosecutors have requested the death penalty for five of the accused, whom they say ordered and supervised Khashoggi’s murder at the consulate, Al-Arabiya reported.

According to the Al-Arabiya report, the prosecution said the murder took place on Sept 29, and that someone had disabled the security cameras inside the consulate before committing the crime.

A spokesperson for the prosecution said that Turkey had been asked to provide the Kingdom with evidence related to the case, the report added.

The 59-year-old journalist, who was considered close to the Saudi royal family, had became a critic of the current government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old heir apparent who has introduced reforms but shown little tolerance for criticism.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year. As a contributor to the Washington Post, he has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticism of its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.

Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince, who has also presided over a roundup of activists and businessmen.

A prosecutor today said that Salman had not been implicated in the murder.

The ruling comes days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke directly to the crown prince, telling him that those who were involved in Khashoggi’s killing should be held ‘accountable’.