A prosecutor in Saudi Arabia has asked for a death sentence for five men accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state media says.
The demand was made as 11 suspects accused of involvement in the dissident’s murder appeared in court on Thursday for the first time.
Mr Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the kingdom’s rulers, was killed and dismembered at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2.
Saudi Arabia has denied claims that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the 59-year-old’s murder.
It is claimed that Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who lived in the US, was killed shortly after he entered the building to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.
Last month, a Turkish pro-government television channel has broadcast video showing men carrying suitcases allegedly containing the remains of the Saudi journalist into the residence of Riyadh’s consul general in Istanbul.
The residence is a short distance from the consulate where Mr Khashoggi, a former Saudi royal insider, was killed.
Mr Khashoggi’s remains have not been found.
Turkey has repeatedly asked Saudi Arabia where they are, and has searched a number of sites.
The murder has sparked global outrage and damaged the international reputation of 33-year-old crown prince, the kingdom’s de facto leader.
After offering numerous contradictory explanations regarding the fate of Khashoggi, Riyadh later said he had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor’s office said last month it would seek the death penalty for five individuals, and that 11 of 21 suspects have been indicted and will be referred to court in Saudi Arabia.
Turkey wants to prosecute those suspected of involvement, and has vowed to take the investigation into the killing to the United Nations.
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