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Turkey’s indictment of Khashoggi's killers is essential for justice to be served

17 12 2

Last week, Turkey’s Attorney General issued indictments against 20 Saudi Arabian citizens accused of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. The indictments call for a life sentence in a maximum security prison for the former deputy head of Saudi Arabia’s general intelligence agency, Ahmed Al-Asiri, and former royal court adviser Saud Al-Qahtani. The rest of the execution squad included Royal Guard officer Maher Mutrab.

The indictment is significant in content and form, both politically and legally. Despite the fact that the Turkish government did not interfere in the course of the investigation, in line with the separation of powers in democracies, it did not give in to temptation and agree to settle the issue diplomatically. Nor did it accept the Saudi government’s show trial or seek to hinder or stop the investigation. Instead, it provided all necessary support to the prosecutors to carry out their professional duties.

Politically, the indictment translates into what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes is a duty to the Khashoggi family to track down the perpetrators and hold them accountable. Erdogan also said that justice is only achieved through national and international courts. It is clear that the first step is now on course, awaiting the second, which is to hold an international trial and for Riyadh to cooperate with the investigation by allowing the extradition of the suspects so that they can be questioned freely and transparently in a formally-constituted court of law.

READ: Saudi student: FBI saved me from being killed like Khashoggi

The text of the indictments includes affirmation that a lot of professional, accurate and patient work has already gone into this process. Over the........

© Middle East Monitor