Jamal Kashoggi's Murder Trial
"Burn them all"
-Aerys II Targaryen
On 2nd October, 2018, Jamal Khashoggi- a journalist and critic of the
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, visited the Saudi consulate in Turkey to
obtain papers for his marriage. This was the last time he was ever seen.
The CIA believes that he was killed inside the Saudi consulate on the
orders of the Crown Prince. However, the Crown Prince has denied this
On 3rd July, twenty Saudi officials were accused by a Turkish Court of
being involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. The trial involves
twenty-six witnesses who are Turkish staff members- drivers, clerks,
translators, cooks, cleaners and a tea server.
Ahmed al-Asiri, the former deputy head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence
agency, is being accused of establishing a hit team and plotting Jamal
Khashoggi's murder. Saud al-Qahtani, former royal court adviser, has
been charged with leading the operation and instructing the hit team.
Eighteen others have been charged for killing Jamal Khashoggi by
The accused are currently being tried in absentia and are unlikely to be
handed over by Saudi Arabia. A trial in absentia allows for criminal
proceedings to take place even if the accused is not present in court.
Zeki Demir, a local technician who worked for the Saudi consulate in
Turkey said in court that he was made to light a tandoor oven less than
an hour after Jamal Khashoggi entered the building. He further said that
marble slabs around the oven had changed colour in such a way that it
seemed like it had been cleaned with a chemical. He also mentioned that
there was an "air of panic" in the Consulate and, “It was as if they
wanted me to leave as soon as possible.” This supports the theory that
Jamal Khashoggi was killed and then, his corpse was burnt.
However, the Saudi Ambassador's driver said that the Ambassador had
ordered raw kebabs from a restaurant and that was why they required the
oven to be lit.
At the trial, five Turkish employees of the Saudi Consulate said that they
never saw Jamal Khashoggi. However, one witness said that he had a
short conversation with Khashoggi before he entered the building, but
did not see him after that.
The trial got adjourned till 24th November in order to allow for
Interpol's response to Turkey's request of arresting those accused. This
trial would be the only opportunity Jamal Khashoggi’s family would
have to get justice for his murder.
Reporter : Haneen F