Saudi prosecutors seek death penalty for Khashoggi suspects

Netflix has dropped an episode of a program critical of Saudi Arabia by comedian Hasan Minhaj after officials in the kingdom complained

Netflix has dropped an episode of a program critical of Saudi Arabia by comedian Hasan Minhaj after officials in the kingdom complained

Saudi officials have rejected accusations that the crown prince ordered his murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, in which Khashoggi's body was dismembered, removed from the building and handed over to an unidentified "local cooperator".

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Speaking to press members in Geneva, Ravina Shamdasani reiterated the office's call for an independent investigation, "with global involvement", into the incident.

Suspects in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have attended their first court hearing, the Associated Press reports, citing Saudi state media.

A statement from Saudi prosecutors said that they sent a request to Turkey for relevant evidence that Ankara had collected in the case.

The trial of 11 people accused of being involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi has begun in the kingdom whose de facto ruler is suspected of ordering the killing.

The Saudis have presented shifting stories about Khashoggi's fate, initially denying any knowledge before arguing that a group of rogue operators, many of whom belong to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's inner circle, were responsible for the journalist's death.

There have been reports that his remains, which have never been found, were dissolved in acid. The defence team requested a copy of the charge sheet and a timeframe within which to review the charges. No date has been set for the next hearing.

"This demand was consistent with Saudi law and so we have removed it in Saudi only", the spokesperson said, adding that the move "doesn't mean we agree with these laws".

The conflict - which has claimed the lives of over 60,000, brought millions to the brink of starvation, and triggered a massive cholera outbreak - has been repeatedly called the "world's worst humanitarian crisis" by the United Nations and other human rights watchdogs. But in November the Saudi attorney general ruled out any involvement by the young crown prince, whose reformist credentials overseas have been seriously tarnished by the killing.

Officials in Turkey could not be immediately reached for comment.

The commission pointed out that arraigning the accused comes as yet a confirmation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's previous announcement that justice will take its course and that whoever has taken part in this crime will receive his the deterrent penalty.

The Khashoggi affair has also given Turkey - allied with Saudi rivals Qatar and Iran - unusual leverage in regional power plays. The court granted the lawyers' request for time to respond.

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