Gov’t to OK Khashoggi murder trial’s move to Saudi Arabia: Minister
Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said that the government will recommend an Istanbul court to close a trial in absentia against 26 Saudi nationals charged in the slaying of columnist Jamal Khashoggi and transfer the case to Saudi Arabia.
“We will provide a positive opinion concerning the transfer of this case,” Bozdağ said.
The minister spoke a day after a prosecutor requested the transfer, in line with a request from the Kingdom.
Recalling that the trial process of the case continues at the 11th High Criminal Court in Istanbul, Bozdağ said that a red notice was issued for 26 suspects and that 20 of them were asked to be extradited to Turkey, but all of these requests were rejected.
“Saudi Arabia later demanded the transfer request of this case,” he said.
“[The Kingdom] conveyed to Turkey that some decisions were made in the Riyadh Criminal Court and that this case be heard in Saudi Arabia. There is no special legal assistance agreement between Turkey and
Saudi Arabia, but it has conveyed this request within the framework of the international legal assistance agreement,” Bozdağ noted.
Stating that the prosecutor took these requests into consideration on March 31, Bozdağ said, “I think he made a request there to stop the case and transfer it to Saudi Arabia.”
Khashoggi disappeared on Oct. 2, 2018, after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, seeking documents that would allow him to marry his fiancée. He never emerged.