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Accused killers of Khashoggi on trial: 5 of 11 facing death penalty

Saudi prosecutor general Saud al-Mojeb said in November he was seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects arrested in the case involving murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi early October 2018, at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

Khashoggi was killed on October 2, and later Saudi acknowledged the journalist was murdered, in a premeditated manner, by “rogue” elements who conducted their own covert operation.

In November, al-Mojeb cleared Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from any involvement or knowledge of that operation.

On Thursday, Jan 3, the trials involving these individuals began, as per the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Overall, 21 people were arrested and six officials have been removed from their positions, according to the prosecutor and the Saudi Foreign Minister, reported CNN.

Related: Saudi prosecutor: Death penalty for Khashoggi murder suspects

The Defendants

AFP wrote that Saudi Arabia’s attorney general is seeking the death penalty for five of 11 defendants charged with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as a trial got underway in Riyadh.

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.

The names of the 11 defendants were not made public.

“The defense team on Thursday requested a copy of the indictment sheet and a timeframe within which to review the charges,” said AFP.

The prosecutor agreed to both requests, SPA said. No date has been set for the next hearing.

Prosecutors said Thursday that they will continue to investigate those connected to the case

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CNN said that the Saudi Public Prosecutor asked Turkey to turn over relevant evidence in the case, but that the country had not yet done that, quoting what SPA reported.

“Saudi prosecutors alleged Khashoggi was tied up and injected with an overdose of a sedative that killed him. Then his body was dismembered and removed from the consulate by five people and given to a local collaborator,” CNN said.

“The Saudi Public Prosecutor submitted formal requests to Turkish authorities to officially share evidence and information related to this case, including any recordings in the possession of Turkish authorities. The Saudi Public Prosecutor is still awaiting a response to these requests,” an official from the Saudi embassy in Washington told CNN.

“The Kingdom will continue to uphold accountability and ensure justice is served within its laws,” the official added.