Khashoggi fi­ancee makes ap­peal at trial

The Irish Times - - World News - BETHAN McK­ER­NAN in Is­tan­bul

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

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