CHP leader criticizes transfer of Khashoggi case to Saudi Arabia
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on April 12 criticized a decision by the Turkish judiciary to hand over the case of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination to Saudi authorities.
“No matter what they say, it comes out that they could not manage [the issue]. One can’t trample the reputation of the state,” he said, addressing his party’s lawmakers.
“The murder was committed in Istanbul. The sound was recorded, it was served to the world, everything is clear,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The judiciary is one of the three institutions exercising the sovereign right in the state of Turkey, the politician said, arguing that the government decided to transfer the case for financial reasons.
A Turkish court ruled on April 7 to suspend the trial in absentia of 26 Saudis accused in the gruesome killing of Khashoggi and for the case to be transferred to Saudi Arabia.
In early April, a Turkish prosecutor in the case recommended that it be transferred to the kingdom, arguing that the trial in Turkey would remain inconclusive. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ supported the recommendation, adding that the trial in Turkey would resume if the Turkish court is not satisfied with the outcome of proceedings in the kingdom.
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who wrote critically about Saudi Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed on Oct. 2, 2018, at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. He had gone into the consulate for an appointment to collect documents required for him to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz.
Khashoggi never emerged from the building. His remains have not been found.
Turkey, which had vowed to shed light on the brutal killing, began prosecuting the defendants in absentia in 2020 after Saudi Arabia rejected requests for their extradition. The defendants included two former aides of the prince.