Khashoggi’s fiancée applies for Turkey to reverse murder case transfer to Saudi

The fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has applied to the Turkish Justice Ministry for the reversal of a court ruling transferring the murder case to the kingdom, Halk TV reported on Friday.

On April 7, A Turkish court has ruled to suspend the trial in absentia of 26 Saudis accused in the killing of Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, Khashoggi and for the case to be transferred to Saudi Arabia.

The 59-year-old journalist was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 in a case that was  internationally condemned and caused a diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and some of its closest allies.

The application was submitted by Hatice Cengiz’s lawyer, Gökmen Başpınar, citing the lack of transferability of penal matters according to the International Judicial Cooperation law, Halk TV said.

“This application is our last hope in allowing future generations to see this beautiful country as a liveable nation, and to (prove that) state traditions stand with the oppressed…” it cited Başpınar as saying.

Turkey began the trial of the Saudi suspects in July 2020, six months after a Saudi court sentenced five people to death for the murder, which it ruled wasn't premeditated.

The 26 Saudis  had been on trial in Turkey in absentia in the case, after the Saudi government refused to extradite them.

Khashoggi’s remains have not been found. Turkish officials believe his body was dismembered and removed from the building. They maintain the prominent critic of bin Salman was killed and dismembered inside the consulate in an operation had been approved by the "highest levels" of the kingdom.

According to U.S. intelligence the Crown Prince himself approved the operation, a claim which Bin Salman denies.

Turkey’s transfer of the case to Saudi took place as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seeking to normalise relations with Saudi Arabia, which hit an all-time low after the Khashoggi murder.

The Turkish leader met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in Jeddah on Thursday, marking his first visit to the country since the killing of Khashoggi in 2018.

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