Human rights teams say Saudi Arabia can’t be anticipated to carry a good trial for the alleged killers of the journalist.
Turkey’s justice minister mentioned on Friday his ministry would approve a request to switch a trial over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, as Ankara seeks to fix ties with Riyadh.
Human rights teams condemned the transfer saying Saudi Arabia couldn’t be anticipated to carry a good trial.
Khashoggi’s killing on the Saudi consulate in Istanbul 4 years in the past grabbed headlines worldwide and strained ties between the 2 regional powers, resulting in an unofficial Saudi boycott of Turkish items that has minimize Ankara’s exports to Riyadh by 90 p.c.
A Turkish prosecutor known as on Thursday for the Istanbul trial in absentia of 26 Saudi suspects to be halted and transferred to Saudi authorities, who requested the switch in a response to a letter from the Turkish courtroom.
The courtroom requested the justice ministry’s opinion on the difficulty and is anticipated to rule on the request at its subsequent listening to, set for April 7.
The prosecutor mentioned the defendants have been overseas residents, the arrest warrants couldn’t be executed, and their statements couldn’t be taken, leaving the case in abeyance or suspension.
“Because the ministry, we’ll ship a constructive opinion there [today] concerning the switch of the case,” justice minister Bekir Bozdag mentioned on Friday.
Amnesty Worldwide Secretary Normal Agnes Callamard described the prosecutor’s request as “spineless”.
Bozdag mentioned, nonetheless, ought to the case be moved to the dominion, the Turkish courtroom would consider any verdict reached by a Saudi courtroom.
The Turkish judiciary would then drop the case whether it is happy with the decision reached in Saudi Arabia, or resume proceedings if the defendants are acquitted, state-run Anadolu information company reported.
The trial’s switch to Saudi Arabia “doesn’t abolish the jurisdiction of the Turkish courts”, Anadolu quoted Bozdag as saying.
In 2020, Saudi Arabia jailed eight individuals for between seven and 20 years for Khashoggi’s homicide. Not one of the defendants was named in what rights teams described as a sham trial.
A US intelligence report launched a 12 months in the past mentioned Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had permitted the operation to kill or seize Khashoggi.
The Saudi authorities denied his involvement and rejected the report’s findings.
Turkish officers mentioned they consider Khashoggi, a outstanding critic of the crown prince, was killed and his physique dismembered in an operation by Saudi brokers.