The Saudi Public Prosecutor has said the Kingdom’s court is holding its first session for eleven suspects involved in the Jamal Khashoggi murder case, according to the state news agency SPA.
During the court session, the prosecutor asked for death sentences to be handed to the five suspects accused of killing Khashoggi, the agency added.
“The first meeting of the criminal court was held in Riyadh in the case of those accused of killing Jamal Khashoggi, there were 11 of them. The meeting was held in the presence of lawyers under Article 4, the General Prosecutor’s Office demanded the implementation of the Sharia criminal law against the detainees, and the death penalty for five of them for the involvement in the murder,” SPA cited the country’s prosecutor-general’s office as saying.
The names of the 11 defendants have not been officially released.
Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, was murdered on October 2 in what Riyadh called a “rogue” operation.
The 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a team of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul for the killing, according to Turkish officials.
There have been reports that his remains, which have never been found, were dissolved in acid.
The consulate and the residence were searched by the Turkish authorities in October along with several other locations.
Ankara has sought the extradition of the suspects in Saudi custody to stand trial in Turkey but its requests have been repeatedly rebuffed by Riyadh.
The US Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly concluded that the kingdom’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, very likely ordered Khashoggi’s murder.