Saudi Arabia seeks death penalty for five over Jamal Khashoggi death

Saudi top prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor has said he is seeking the death penalty for five suspects charged with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Others have argued it's hard to believe the killing would have taken place without Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's knowledge.

At a press conference held in capital Riyadh, Saud al-Mujeb said that Khashoggi died due to high dose of drugs given by his murderers, his body was dismembered after and transferred outside the consulate compound.

The prosecution spokesperson on Thursday denied Prince Mohammed's link to the case.

A former deputy chief of the kingdom's intelligence service was the one who ordered the formation of a squad sent to Turkey in an attempt to convince Khashoggi to return to his homeland, the official said.

The prosecutor told reporters in Riyadh that investigations were still ongoing to locate the remains of the slain journalist.

Saudi authorities initially stated the journalist left the consulate, before backtracking and admitting on October 20 he was killed by "rogue" operatives.

He said 11 out of 21 suspects have been indicted and that their cases will be referred to court, while the investigation with the remaining suspects will continue in order to determine their role in the crime.

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Turkey has said he was murdered and his body was cut into pieces.

Ankara has already shared voice recordings linked to the murder with a number of countries including Saudi Arabia, the United States and its Western allies.

Khashoggi's killing has plunged Saudi Arabia into its worst diplomatic crisis since the September 11 attacks.

Speaking in Riyadh, the prosecutor said the highest-level official behind the killing is Saudi former deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al Assiri - who has been fired for ordering the journalist's return.

He was sacked for allegedly ordering Khashoggi to return to the consulate.

U.S. President Donald Trump had suggested ultimate responsibility lay with the prince as de facto ruler.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since a year ago.

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