Royal Adviser Fired Over Khashoggi Murder Absent From Saudi Trial: Sources | 10/19/2018 | Staff
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LONDON (Reuters) – A Saudi royal adviser fired over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is not among the 11 suspects on trial at secretive hearings in Riyadh despite Saudi pledges to bring those responsible to justice, sources familiar with the matter said.

The Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed suspects in November, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of “ordering and committing the crime.” The CIA and some Western countries believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny.

Saud - Al-Qahtani - Aide - Prince - Mohammed

Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed until he was sacked then sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury over his suspected role, is not on trial and has not appeared at any of the four court sessions convened since January, said seven sources, who are familiar with the proceedings but have not attended the trial.

Two regional intelligence sources told Reuters weeks after the killing that Qahtani oversaw Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment by giving orders via Skype to a team of security and intelligence operatives.

Saudi - Prosecutor - November - Qahtani - Intelligence

The Saudi public prosecutor said in November that Qahtani had coordinated with deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Asiri, who ordered the repatriation of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who had become a vocal critic of the crown prince’s policies following years as a royal insider.

The prosecutor said Qahtani had met the operatives charged with Khashoggi’s repatriation ahead of their journey to Istanbul. When Khashoggi resisted, the lead negotiator decided to kill him, according to the prosecutor.

Asiri - Trial - Sources - Reuters

Asiri is on trial, the seven sources told Reuters.

Three of the sources said that Maher Mutreb, the lead negotiator, and Salah al-Tubaigy, a forensic expert specialized in autopsies, are also on trial and could face the death penalty.

Sources - Defendants - Counsel - Court

The sources said the defendants have legal counsel and have defended themselves in court by claiming they did not intend...
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