Saudi Arabia Holds 1st Hearing for Khashoggi Killing Defendants

A digital image of Jamal Khashoggi is projected at a commemorative event for the murdered Saudi journalist

"The initial hearing for the 11 individuals indicted by the Public Prosecution in the case of the murder of citizen Jamal Khashoggi was held today.in the Criminal Court of Riyadh", a statement from the Saudi prosecutor carried by SPA said.

Prosecutors said they have sent five letters to Turkish officials asking for evidence related to the killing, but hadn't yet received a response.

The Washington Post journalist was a fierce critic of the Saudi government, the Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman and the country's king, Salman of Saudi Arabia, after originally being close to the royal circles.

Khashoggi, an occasional contributor to The Washington Post, had written columns critical of Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

US senators were briefed by USA intelligence agencies which concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the operation to kill Khashoggi.

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A date for the second hearing has not yet been scheduled. After producing various contradictory explanations, Riyadh acknowledged weeks later that he was killed inside the consulate building, blaming the act on a botched rendition operation.

"This entire cover-up exists for one reason", Minhaj said, before the show cut to clips of reporters citing analysts who suggested that the changing story was made to protect the crown prince.

Still, the Trump administration has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials believed to be involved in the act, NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

"From the very beginning of this case, we've been pressing for justice.We've been calling for an independent investigation with worldwide involvement", Shamdasani said.

But Turkish sources told MEE at the time that the Saudi officials were very uncooperative and only sought to find out what Turkey knew, failing to offer any evidence themselves.

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"This demand was consistent with Saudi law and so we have removed it in Saudi only", the spokesperson said, adding that the move "doesn't mean we agree with these laws".

Rights groups have called for an independent investigation into Khashoggi's killing.

The Washington Post on November 16 quotes anonymous sources in the investigation saying the Central Intelligence Agency had concluded the crown prince was involved in the murder plot. He said the Saudis won't execute those charged with Khashoggi's murder "because it is clear that they were following orders from higher ups".

British newspaper the Financial Times said Netflix's action came after the kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission said the episode violated the cybercrime law.

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