Ankara calls on Riyadh to cooperate in Khashoggi case
A Saudi court in Riyadh on Sept. 7 convicted eight people in Khashoggi's murder case after he was killed in his country's consulate in Istanbul nearly two years ago.
Fahrettin Altun on Twitter said the final verdict "regarding journalist Khashoggi’s execution inside the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey fell short of meeting the expectations of Turkey and the international community."
"We still don’t know what happened to Khashoggi’s body, who wanted him dead or if there were local collaborators – which casts doubt on the credibility of the legal proceedings in KSA," he added.
Altun further noted that "it is a legal and conscientious obligation to shed light on the Jamal Khashoggi murder, which was committed within Turkey’s borders, and to deliver justice".
"That is the only way to ensure that similar atrocities can be prevented in the future."
The semi-official Al-Arabiya TV channel reported that five people were sentenced to 20 years in prison, while three others received jail sentences between seven and 10 years.
Khashoggi murder trial lacked transparency: U.N.
Meanwhile, the U.N. said on Sept. 8 that the Saudi trial lacked transparency.
Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was asked by Anadolu Agency if the U.N. would condemn the Saudi court's decision, which U.N. investigator Agnes Callamard said was a "parody of justice" and spared "high-level" plotters.
"This was a very severe and gruesome crime, a horrendous crime," said Colville.
"This is a case where there hasn't been proper transparency in the justice process and clearly those responsible should be prosecuted, and, and given sentences commensurate with the crime."He said that in such cases, "very lengthy jail sentences" would be appropriate."
But there's a whole issue of transparency in the conduct of the case, which Callamard has gone into in considerable detail."
"The Saudi prosecutor performed one more act today in this parody of justice. But these verdicts carry no legal or moral legitimacy," tweeted Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions."
They came at the end of a process which was neither fair nor just, or transparent," she said.
"The five hitmen are sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, but the high-level officials who organized and embraced the execution of Jamal Khashoggi have walked free from the start - barely touched by the investigation and trial," Callamard said in another tweet.
As for the individual responsibility of the person on top of the State, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he has remained well protected against any kind of meaningful scrutiny in his country."
Callamard stressed that Sept. 7's decision should not relieve the pressure on governments to bring true criminals to light, and cited especially the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
"More than ever, the U.S. Intelligence Services, including the Director of National Intelligence, must release the intelligence assessment of MBS [Mohammed bin Salman] responsibilities for the killing of #JamalKhashoggi. While formal justice in Saudi Arabia cannot be achieved, truth-telling can," said the U.N. investigator.
Callamard, however, welcomed the death penalty being commuted.
"Had such sentences been carried out, they would have amounted to yet more arbitrary killings by the State of Saudi Arabia, and permanent silencing of key witnesses to the execution," she said.