- Title: Turkish court tries Saudis in absentia for Khashoggi killing
- Date: 3rd July 2020
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JULY 3, 2020) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF ISTANBUL JUSTICE PALACE SIGN OF ISTANBUL JUSTICE PALACE ARMOURED POLICE VEHICLE DRIVING PAST VARIOUS OF FIANCEE OF SLAIN SAUDI JOURNALIST JAMAL KHASHOGGI, HATICE CENGIZ, INSIDE JUSTIC BUILDING VARIOUS OF CENGIZ TALKING TO JOURNALISTS OUTSIDE JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) FIANCEE OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI, HATICE CENGIZ, SAYING: "At the same time, this has become a responsability that has been emotionally as well as spritually put upon our shoulders there (at Saudi Consulate) on October 2, 2018. I thank you all on behalf of Jamal. May he rest in peace. We trust in Turkish justice. The judiciary process has begun. Therefore, unfortunately, we will not be able to answer your questions but our search for justice will continue in Turkey as well as in everywhere we can. Once again, I thank you all." UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, AGNES CALLAMARD, SPEAKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, AGNES CALLAMARD, SAYING: "We have not moved the killing of Jamal Khashoggi into a formal setting that the international coMmunity can recognize because the trial in Saudi Arabia could not be given credibility and legitimacy. It was held in secret and the key perpetrators, those who commissioned the crimes, were not indicted. Here for the first time, we have the hitmen being indicted and we have a number of those that commissioned the crime. Not everyone is indicted but a few are indicted, a few more than they were indicted in Saudi Arabia." CAMERAMEN FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, AGNES CALLAMARD, ASKED ABOUT LOCAL TECHNICIAN ZEKI DEMIR'S TESTIMONY, SAYING: "He told us that on the day of the killing, execution, of Jamal Khashoggi he was called to come and help putting a light to the furnace, that there were four or five guests already present who were trying also light the furnace clearly were not able to do it without his assistance but at the same time they were not happy to have him present. Nevertheless, he helped them, he made some jokes apparently which are very received badly by the guests and eventually they basically kicked him out and told him to leave. When he returned three days later he noted that the marble stone around the furnace had been bleached, bleached, yes." REPORTERS
- Embargoed: 17th July 2020 13:41
- Keywords: Hatice Cengiz Khashoggi Turkey murder of Khashoggi trial
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA001CL99ETJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Turkish court put 20 Saudi officials on trial in absentia on Friday (July 3) for the gruesome killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi which sparked international outrage and tarnished the image of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler.
Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 when he went there seeking papers for his marriage. Some Western governments, as well as the CIA, said they believed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the hit - an accusation Saudi officials denied.
Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz, waited unknowing outside the consulate while, according to prosecutors, he was suffocated and his body was dismembered.
The indictment accuses two top Saudi officials, former deputy head of Saudi Arabia's general intelligence Ahmed al-Asiri and former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani, of instigating "premeditated murder with monstrous intent."
It says 18 other defendants were flown to Turkey to kill Khashoggi, a prominent and well-connected journalist who had grown increasingly critical of the crown prince.
The defendants are being tried in absentia and are unlikely ever to be handed over by Saudi Arabia, which has accused Turkey of failing to cooperate with a separate, largely secretive, trial in Riyadh last year.
In December a Saudi court sentenced five people to death and three to jail for the killing, but Khashoggi's family later said they forgave his murderers, effectively granting them a formal reprieve under Saudi law.
Rights campaigners hope that the Istanbul trial will throw a fresh spotlight on the case and strengthen the argument for sanctions against Riyadh or the use of universal jurisdiction, which could lead to the suspects' arrest if they travel abroad.
Zeki Demir, a local technician who worked for the consulate, told the court on Friday he had been called to the consul's residence, close to the consulate itself, on the day of the killing.
According to the indictment Demir also reported seeing many skewers of meat, and noticed that the marble slabs around the oven appeared to have changed colour as if they had been cleaned with a chemical.
(Production: Bulent Usta, Omer Berberoglu, Yesim Dikmen)
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