Saudi prosecution demands 5 defendants be executed for Jamal Khashoggi murder

Suspects in Khashoggi's killing brought before Saudi court

Eleven defendants accused of being involved in the killing appeared in court on Thursday.

The Saudi Public Prosecutor said Turkey has yet to respond to requests to release specific evidence in the case. So far, 18 suspects have been arrested but the trial involves 11 defendants so far.

Saudi prosecutors sought the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi as their trial began here on Thursday, the state media reported.

The 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a team of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul for the killing, according to Turkish officials. The court granted the lawyers' request for time to respond.

He had written columns critical of Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"President Trump has pledged the USA will remain a "steadfast partner" to Saudi Arabia and cast doubt on the Central Intelligence Agency conclusions", NPR's Scott Horsley reports. Saudi Arabia was the world's third top executioner in 2017, behind China and Iran, according to Amnesty International's most recent figures available.

Turkish media reports suggested his remains, which have never been found, were dissolved in acid.

Trump blames "pathetic" Democrat immigration policies for childrens' deaths
She said she had reached out to McAleenan "but have not received answers to explain why these deaths occurred". Graham's comments come a day after President Donald Trump took to Twitter to blame Democrats for the deaths .

The kingdom has come under heavy worldwide pressure, including from the United States, its closest ally, whose Senate has voted in favour of a resolution blaming the crown prince for the murder.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The United Nations and human rights groups have called for an independent investigation into Khashoggi´s killing.

Saudi Arabia has rejected Turkey's demands to deport Saudi nationals saying the kingdom would not extradite suspected connected to the murder case.

"No response has been received to date and the Public Prosecutor's Office is still waiting for an answer", a statement from prosecutors said. Ten other suspects were still under investigation. It did not give details on the next hearing.

Fahrettin Altun, director of communications at the Turkish presidency, said in a statement that the worldwide community should seek justice for the slain journalist under global law after Riyadh reiterated that the suspects in the case would not be extradited for trial in Istanbul.

Last week, King Salman put Ibrahim al-Assaf, a veteran former finance minister, in charge of foreign affairs, in an effort to improve the kingdom's image after the crisis caused by the killing.

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