Death penalty asked in Saudi Arabia in connection with the murder of journalist Khashoggi

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Saudi Arabia said 21 people are now in custody, with 11 indicted and referred to trial.  The public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder. It was proved that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew nothing of the operation. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters: “His royal highness the crown prince has nothing to do with this issue.”

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Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Spokesman Shalaan al-Shalaan told media that the Washington Post columnist was murdered after “negotiations” for his return to the kingdom, possibly ordered by former deputy intelligence chief General Ahmed al-Asir, failed. The killing was decided by the head of a 15-man negotiating team sent to repatriate Khashoggi after he was convinced it was unfeasible to remove the journalist from the consulate. The remains have never been found. Chief Saudi prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb’s decision to seek the death penalty before trial is not unusual in Saudi Arabia. “We did not find some of his explanations to be satisfactory,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu however said after the Saudi announcement. Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile abroad for nearly a year. He was especially critical of the crown prince.

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