Khashoggi killing: Turkish prosecutors to propose extradition of 18 suspects, Khashoggi’s fiancee turns down White House invitation

image courtesy: new york post

Turkish prosecutors plan to propose the extradition of 18 suspects over the killing of Saudi dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi entered the building on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife. He was not seen since.

Saudi Arabia has said the Saudi critic died in a fight inside its Istanbul consulate – after two weeks of consistent denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.

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Turkish media have reported Khashoggi was killed and dismembered based on recordings from the consulate. They say he died at the hands of a 15-member assassination squad from Saudi Arabia.

Anadolu Agency said on Friday the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office submitted its request to Turkey’s justice ministry, adding that the foreign ministry would formally request the extraditions.

“The reasoning behind the extradition request is that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Turkey by Saudi nationals who traveled to Turkey for this specific purpose,” a senior Turkish official said.

“It is clear that the judicial system in Turkey is better equipped to genuinely serve the cause of justice in this case,” the official added.

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“The court proceedings in Turkey will be open to international observers in order to ensure the greatest level of transparency.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with Turkish broadcaster Haberturk on Friday, the fiancee of the slain journalist called for those responsible for his murder to be brought to justice, adding that she declined an invitation by US President Donald Trump to visit the White House.

“I demand that all those involved in this savagery from the highest to the lowest levels are punished and brought to justice,” she said.

Cengiz said Trump has invited her to visit the White House but said she would not go until the US was sincere in its efforts to uncover the truth behind Khashoggi’s killing.

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Referring to Trump’s invitation, she said: “I perceived it as a statement to win public favour”.

Moreover, French President Emmanuel Macron has dismissed calls by several European countries to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi’s murder, calling them “pure demagoguery”.

Any sanctions should target “a field of activity … or individuals or interests who have been shown to have had something to do with the murder of Mr Khashoggi”, Macron told a news conference in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, adding “it’s pure demagoguery to say that we should stop selling arms”.

“That has nothing to do with the Khashoggi affair. That is linked to the situation in Yemen [where Saudi Arabia is fighting Houthi rebels], which requires a very close follow-up”.

He added that any sanctions following Khashoggi’s killing should be imposed at a European level “once the facts have been established”.

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