A Turkish court has accepted an indictment brought against 20 Saudis, including two former associates of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for the brutal murder of prominent dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018.
The 117-page indictment prepared by Istanbul prosecutors was accepted by the city’s Heavy Penal Court No. 11 on Saturday, Turkey’s state Anadolu news agency reported.
It identified the associates as former Deputy Intelligence Chief Ahmad Asiri and former Royal Aide Saud al-Qahtani.
According to the document, Mansour Othman M. Abbahussain, working as major general and intelligence officer in Saudi Arabia, “was tasked in the office of bin Salman and instructed by Asiri to bring Khashoggi back to the country and to kill him if he resisted,” the agency reported.
Khashoggi, a former advocate of the Saudi royal court who had become a critic of bin Salman, was killed and his body dismembered by a Saudi hit squad after being lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a columnist, reported in November that year that the CIA had concluded that bin Salman personally ordered his killing.
Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, has said there was credible evidence that the crown prince and other ranking Saudi officials were individually liable. She has called for an independent and impartial international inquiry into the foul play.
Riyadh has spurned all the allegations linking the killing to bin Salman and instead claimed that the murder was committed by a “rogue” group.