Saudi prosecutors seek death penalty as Khashoggi murder trial opens

US human rights report notes Khashoggi killing
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi prosecutors sought the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday as their trial began in Riyadh, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The trial comes three months after the Washington Post columnist and Saudi royal family insider-turned-critic was killed and allegedly dismembered at the consulate in Istanbul.

According to the Saudi Public Prosecutor, Turkey has not responded to requests to turn over relevant evidence in the case, SPA reported. Turkey in turn has repeatedly called for the culprits to be prosecuted under its laws.

Saudi prosecutors first announced their intention to seek the death penalty in November.

They alleged Khashoggi was tied up and injected with an overdose of a sedative that killed him. Then his body was dismembered and removed from the consulate by five people and given to a local collaborator.

The Saudis have presented shifting stories about Khashoggi’s fate, initially denying any knowledge before arguing that a group of rogue operators, many of whom belong to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s inner circle, were responsible for the journalist’s death.

The Saudi attorney general later acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in a