Jamal Khashoggi murder: Five suspects may face death penalty


Notably, the list of designees does not include Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, commonly known by his initials MBS, who the Donald Trump administration has cultivated as a key ally in its Middle East endeavors.

He said that 11 suspects had been indicted and that the authorities were seeking the death penalty for five of them.

The investigation has also identified five people who removed Khashoggi's body from the consulate building and two people who disposed of his clothes and belongings, including his watch and glasses. They allege the murder was ordered by the head of the negotiating team.

Turkish media has published gruesome details of the killing.

The journalist's body parts were then handed over to an agent outside the consulate grounds, the spokesperson said.

At a press conference held in capital Riyadh, the prosecutor announced his intention to call for the death penalty against anyone found guilty of ordering and carrying out the journalist's murder.

Al-Jubeir said the kingdom is investigating and holding those responsible to account "to make sure this doesn't happen again".

Shalaan said Khashoggi was murdered after "negotiations" for his return to the kingdom failed, and that the killing was ordered by the lead negotiator after he decided it was unfeasible to remove him from the consulate.

On Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that some of the latest Saudi statements about the killing were not "satisfactory".

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"Those who gave the command as well as instigators should also be clarified and this process should not be covered up", Mr Cavusoglu said, adding that Turkey would "shed light on this murder in all its aspects". "This process can not be closed down in this way".

Through a series of orchestrated leaks, including audio of the killing shared with Western intelligence, Turkey has attempted to keep pressure on the crown prince, who sees Turkey as a regional rival.

Many, along with current and former U.S. officials and Middle East experts, have said that the Istanbul operation would not have been launched without Mohammed's knowledge and approval. But, the rights organisation said in a statement, "in failing to sanction the crown prince or members of his inner circle, or taking other actions with respect to Saudi repression at home or its activities in Yemen, the administration isn't taking a particularly strong stand in terms of accountability". Prosecutors said this specialist was working without the direct knowledge of his boss.

Prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb's conclusion - that the killing was authorised by relatively low-level officials who disobeyed orders and acted on the fly - contradicted assertions by Turkish investigators, who have said it was a meticulously planned affair, with elaborate preparations to cover up the crime that included the scouting of locations where Khashoggi's body could be disposed of in secret.

US Democratic Senator Chris Coons dismissed that idea as "utterly incredible" and called for a US investigation using information from Turkish intelligence and other sources.

"The Saudi officials we are sanctioning were involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi", said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.

Saudi agents originally wanted to bring Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia alive, the spokesman said.

He said a travel ban had been imposed on Qahtani, who coordinated with Asiri, meeting the operatives ahead of their journey to Istanbul to brief them on Khashoggi's activities. Both men were fired from their posts last month amid fallout from the killing.

Khashoggi was given a lethal injection after a struggle in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, he added.