Saudis refuse to hand over Khashoggi suspects
Saudi Arabia has refused to extradite two former intelligence sources for whom Turkey has issued arrest warrants for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to Turkey, a 15-member Saudi squad was sent to Istanbul to murder Khashoggi.
“We don’t extradite our citizens,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (pictured) told the media in Riyadh.
The Saudis say they have detained 21 people over the murder.
The Washington Post columnist had been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He was killed in the consulate in Istanbul in October and his body is yet to be found.
Last week a Turkish court issued arrest warrants against ex-Saudi intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and one-time royal adviser Saud al-Qahtani.
Istanbul’s chief prosecutor made the request from the oil giant.
The United States, France and Canada have placed sanctions on nearly 20 Saudi nationals and Qahtani was among 17 Saudi government employees targeted by sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department in mid-November for “his role in preparing for the operation” against the Saudi dissident.
Assiri attended many of Mohammed’s private meetings with foreign visitors and Qahtani advised the young leader.
Both were dismissed after the Saudi regime admitted Khashoggi died in its consulate. The authorities deny the crown prince knew about the killing.
“The Turkish authorities have not been as forthcoming as we believe they should have been,” said Jubeir.
“We have asked our friends in Turkey to provide us with evidence that we can use in a court of law. We have not received it in the manner that it should have been received.”
He mentioned that details were being leaked to the media before Riyadh received them.
Saudi prosecutors in November said they were seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 Saudis indicted for the murder.
The Saudi public prosecutor has said Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in a “rogue operation” on the orders of an intelligence chief.
Khashoggi was given a lethal injection after a struggle and his corpse was dismembered inside the consulate and the body parts were handed over to a Turkish “collaborator” outside the building, the Istanbul prosecutor said.
Hatice Cengiz, 39, Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, has been asking what happened to his body.
“I want to expose the circumstances of this case, to identify those responsible and for perpetrators of the crime and those who ordered it to be prosecuted fairly so that they can get the punishment they deserve,” she told Al Jazeera.
“As relatives of Jamal, we have to know where the body is. This is our human right.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. Picture credit: Wikimedia