Turkey on Monday questioned the death sentences issued by Saudi Arabia against five people over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The decision announced by the Saudi court “is far from meeting the expectations of both our country and the international community to shed light on the murder with all its dimensions and deliver justice,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Ankara also said key aspects of the murder including the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body were “left in the dark”, which the ministry said was a “fundamental deficiency” in terms of accountability.
Interestingly, top aide to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has not been charged in case.
"It is not only a legal but also a conscientious responsibility to shed light on this murder committed in our territory and to punish all those responsible," the Turkish foreign ministry said.
It reiterated Turkey's expectation of judicial cooperation from Saudi authorities.
Turkey's ties with Saudi Arabia came under strain after the brutal murder, which tarnished the international reputation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi, a US-based writer who annoyed the prince through critical columns in The Washington Post, was strangled to death on October 2, 2018 and dismembered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to handle wedding paperwork, according to US and Turkish officials. Khashoggi visited the consulate to secure the divorce papers needed to marry his fiancee but did not make it out alive.
Ankara also said key aspects of the murder including the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body were "left in the dark", which the ministry said was a "fundamental deficiency" in terms of accountability.
"Saudi announcement not acceptable ..!" Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz wrote on Twitter.
Khashoggi had gone to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork ahead of his wedding to Cengiz.