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Thursday 25 November 2021 - 01:14

Turkish Trial in Khashoggi Killing ‘Nearing Deadlock’ over Failure to Include Bin Salman’s Role: RSF

Story Code : 965315
Turkish Trial in Khashoggi Killing ‘Nearing Deadlock’ over Failure to Include Bin Salman’s Role: RSF
Erol Onderoglu, representative for Reporters wthout Borders (RSF), said that justice could not be served in the trial if it did not include the de facto leader of the Saudi kingdom.

"Everyone knows that the judicial process will be symbolic as long as the defendants are not caught and returned to Turkey," Onderoglu said, describing the case as "nearing deadlock."The RSF's representative also called on Turkish authorities to bring to justice all those involved in the murder as perpetrators, planners, or instigators and to take immediate steps to end their impun

The fifth session of Khashoggi's murder trial took place at the Justice Palace in the Turkish city

ity. of Istanbul on Tuesday, and was also attended by the journalist's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, and her lawyer.

In the last two hearings, the court rejected requests by Cengiz to accept into evidence a declassified US intelligence report that was published early this year and held the Saudi crown prince responsible for approving the murder.

In both hearings, the judge stated that the report "would bring nothing to the trial," and Khashoggi's fiancée was told to take the request directly to Istanbul's prosecutor general.

The Turkish court, which is trying 26 Saudis in absentia on various charges related to Khashoggi's murder, urged the Justice Ministry to send a letter to Saudi Arabia and ask about the results of the trial of those who were sentenced in the kingdom over the murder of the slain journalist so that they do not receive a punishment twice.

The RSF's representative also pointed to the partial improvement in bilateral relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia as Ankara and Riyadh have been working to normalize ties after a series of phone calls between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

"The signs towards Turkey-Saudi relations getting closer are of course raising concern that the case could be moved into the shadows, could be pushed into the background," Onderoglu said.

He added that the concerns had been increased by the Istanbul prosecutor's office not requesting the CIA report and the court not adding it to the case.

The next hearing is scheduled to be held on February 24.
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