Saudi Arabia’s attorney general sought the death penalty for five of 11 defendants charged with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as their trial opened in Riyadh on Thursday.
All 11 accused were present with their lawyers at the opening hearing in the capital, according to a statement by the attorney general carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was killed October 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Here is the full statement:
The Public Prosecutor stated that further to the statements issued on 19/10/2018, 25/10/2018 and on 15/11/2018, the initial hearing for the 11 individuals indicted by the Public Prosecution in the case of the murder of citizen Jamal Khashoggi was held in the Criminal Court of Riyadh. The defendants’ attorneys were present under Article (4) of the Law of Criminal Procedures.
The Public Prosecutor demanded to impose proper punishments against the defendants and is seeking capital punishment for (5) of the defendants for their direct involvement in the murder.
During the initial hearing of the case, the defendants requested a copy of the indictment and additional time to respond. The defendants’ request was approved according to the Law of Criminal Procedures. Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor continues to investigate the case with the rest of the individuals in custody in relation to this crime.
In addition, two letters (Number 22031/S & 22032/S, dated to 17/12/2018) were sent to the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Turkey in follow up to letters number 7841 dated 17/10/2018, and number 9995/S, dated 25/10/2018, and number 11350/S, dated 31/10/2018 requesting the Turkish Public Prosecution to provide any evidence connected to this case. To date, the Saudi Public Prosecutor has not received any response, and the Public Prosecution is still waiting for their response.