Istanbul prosecutor indicts Saudi suspects for Khashoggi killing
In this image made from an Oct. 18, 2018, video provided by Metafora Production, Eiad Alhaji, left, edits video in his studio as Jamal Khashoggi on a monitor speaks during an interview held in March 2018 at an undisclosed location. (Metafora Production via AP)
Istanbul prosecutor's office said on March 25 it had prepared an indictment against 20 suspects over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, including the former deputy head of Saudi Arabia's general intelligence and a former royal adviser.
The prosecutor's office said the indictment accuses former deputy head of Saudi Arabia's general intelligence Ahmed al-Asiri and former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani as having "instigated premeditated murder with monstrous intent".
It accuses 18 others of carrying out the killing of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and columnist for the Washington Post, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
The indictment was based on analysis of mobile phone records of the suspects, records of their entry and exit into Turkey and presence at the consulate, witness statements and analysis of Khashoggi's phone, laptop and iPad, the statement said.
Saudi Arabia's media ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In December a Saudi court sentenced five people to death and three to jail over Khashoggi's murder. But a Saudi prosecutor said there was no evidence connecting Qahtani to the killing and the court dismissed charges against Asiri.
Khashoggi's killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 caused a global uproar, tarnishing the image of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Some Western governments, as well as the CIA, said they believed he had ordered the killing - an accusation Saudi officials have denied.
Riyadh offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building.
Khashoggi's body was never recovered.