Saudi Arabia has said that it will seek death penalty for the five suspects charged with murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The Guardian has reported.
This is being seen as a last-ditch effort to save the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from personal responsibility of the alleged cold blooded murder of the 59-year-old journalist. Ankara and Riyadh both have been jointly investigating the case.
The Saudi Public Prosecutor said that Saudi agents, including members of Prince Salman’s personal security detail, had orders to only abduct Khashoggi, but murdered him when he resisted, a claim countered by an earlier Saudi finding.
Not the Prince but an intelligence officer was responsible for ordering the murder, the public prosecutor’s office said and added that Khashoggi was given a lethal injection after a struggle with the extradition team inside the consulate.
The Public Prosecutor also said that Turkey has been requested to hand over the tapes that capture the journalist’s death.
Turkey has not revealed all transcripts related to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and has been leading a diplomatic offensive against the Saudi Prince. The tapes have been played to a Saudi Agent and shared with allied intelligence agencies according to the Turkish President.
The Trump administration has decided to impose sanctions on 17 co-conspirators, the timing of the move in favour of Saudis. The US has also tried to shield old-time ally Saudi Arabia and blamed the murder on ‘rogue actors’ acting without the knowledge of the Prince.