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Turkey charges 20 Saudis over Khashoggi murder

Turkey have charged 20 Saudi nationals over the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul in 2018, The Guardian reports.

Two of the men charged are allies of the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. The former royal court adviser, Saud al-Qahtani and the former deputy head of intelligence, Ahmed al-Asiri were among the suspects charged. Both men are accused of having "instigated premeditated murder with monstrous intent."

Arrest warrants have been issued, however as none of them are in the country, a trial in absentia will be opened. Turkey is seeking life imprisonment for all 20 suspects. 

Some Western governments and the CIA believe that the crown prince ordered the the murder but Saudi officials continue to deny the accusation.

Khashoggi, a journalist for the Washington Post and US resident, initially arrived in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in October 2018, to file in documents certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife so that he could remarry. Turkish intelligence alleged that Khashoggi was strangled to death, dismembered with a bone saw and then dissolved in acid in the consulate. 

The indictment was based on analysis of mobile phone and computer records, witness statements and the suspects' entry into and exit from Turkey. 

Read more from The Guardian here and Al Jazeera here