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United Nations rights office says Saudi trial in Khashoggi case 'not sufficient'

United Nations rights office says Saudi trial in Khashoggi case 'not sufficient'

Saudi state media say that suspects in the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have attended their first court hearing.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia's Public Prosecutors demanded capital punishment against five out of 11 suspects over the killing of Khashoggi, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The prosecution also said it was awaiting a response to two formal letters requesting evidence from Turkey, where Khashoggi was murdered inside the kingdom´s Istanbul consulate on October 2 in a case that shocked the world.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia's ruling family, was killed on October 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. It was later revealed that he had been killed.

There has been worldwide interest in outspoken journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing since CCTV footage showed him enter the consulate where he was allegedly slayed last October.

The Public Prosecution said the defendants, following the hearing in the case, asked for a copy of the legal document from the prosecutors and sought time to present their defense. Then his body was dismembered and removed from the consulate by five people and given to a local collaborator.




But Turkish sources told MEE at the time that the Saudi officials were very uncooperative and only sought to find out what Turkey knew, failing to offer any evidence themselves. United States officials, however, had said such a mission - including 15 men sent from Riyadh - could not have been carried out without the authorization of Bin Salman.

The murder, which the Central Intelligence Agency and US Senate have concluded was carried out under the direct orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has had catastrophic consequences for the kingdom's worldwide reputation.

No date has been set for the next hearing and it was unclear how long the trial would last. Riyadh, however, insists that the killing was a rogue operation.

"From the very beginning of this case, we've been pressing for justice.We've been calling for an independent investigation with worldwide involvement", Shamdasani said.

"Given the possible involvement of Saudi authorities in Khashoggi's murder and the lack of independence of Saudi Arabia's criminal justice system, the impartiality of any investigation and trial would be in question", Samah Hadid, a Middle East director at Amnesty International, said on Thursday.

In his last column, he criticised Saudi involvement in war in Yemen.

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