Khashoggi fiancee makes appeal at trial
The fiancee of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has told a Turkish court that all avenues for justice must be explored as 20 Saudi officials went on trial in absentia over the gruesome killing and dismemberment in Istanbul in 2018.
Taking the witness stand yesterday morning at Istanbul’s Çaglayan courthouse complex, Hatice Cengiz had to pause several times to stop her voice from breaking. The absence of the 20 defendants, as well as Khashoggi’s still missing remains, weighed heavily over the proceedings.
The trial is being closely watched for new information or evidence into the killing and what happened to Khashoggi’s body, which has never been found.
The CIA concluded Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi’s assassination, a conclusion that shocked the kingdom’s western allies and forever sullied the de facto Saudi ruler’s preferred image as a liberal reformer.
Prince Mohammed strenuously denies any involvement in the killing and, despite an international outcry, was staunchly defended by the US president, Donald Trump.
Two men in Prince Mohammed’s inner circle – Ahmed al-Asiri and Saud al-Qahtani – are among the defendants, along with Maher Mutreb, an intelligence operative who frequently
travelled with the royal on foreign tours, forensic expert Salah al-Tubaigy and Fahad al-Balawi, a member of the Saudi royal guard.
The atmosphere in the Istanbul courtroom was tense yesterday. Turkish investigators have explored several lines of inquiry in trying to determine what happened to Khashoggi’s body.
A team of 14 Turkish stateappointed lawyers were present to represent the defendants, but none had spoken to their clients. – Guardian
Hatice Cengiz: Had to pause several times to stop her voice from breaking