Turkey ‘indicts six more Saudis’ over Khashoggi's murder

These six people would be added to the 20 defendants who are already being tried in Turkey in their absence
In the archive photo, Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi

AP/HASAN JAMALI  -   In the archive photo, Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Turkish prosecutors have filed a second indictment against six Saudi suspects over the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, the daily Milliyet reported on Tuesday.

The charge is against six people who would be added to the 20 accused already tried in absentia in Turkey since last July. Among the new defendants are two officials from the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, for whom the prosecution is seeking life imprisonment with aggravating circumstances for "premeditated murder with savage torture".

According to the indictment, the two were consulate staff members and were part of the team that left Turkey after carrying out the murder of the Saudi journalist. The other four suspects are reportedly accused of tampering with evidence by going to the crime scene immediately after the murder, they are asking for sentences of six months to five years in prison. 

Last July, a trial in absentia was opened in Turkey against 20 suspects, including two former advisors of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. 

For its part, the Saudi justice recently commuted the death sentences it had handed down to eight people convicted of the murder of Khashoggi to prison terms of between 7 and 20 years. 

Khashoggi, a contributor to the US newspaper Washington Post critical of the Saudi monarchy, was murdered on October 2, 2018 at his country's consulate in Istanbul, which he entered to collect documents he needed for his wedding. 

According to the leaks published by the Turkish press at the time, a team of hitmen who came from Riyadh tortured the 59-year-old dissident journalist, killed him by suffocating him with a plastic bag and then dismembered his body to make him disappear, although it has not been clarified how because his remains have not been found so far.