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Prosecutor seeks end to Khashoggi trial in Turkey

ANKARA, TURKEY (AP) – The Turkish prosecutor in the case against 26 Saudi nationals charged in the slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi made a surprise request that their trial in absentia be suspended and the case transferred to Saudi Arabia.

The panel of judges made no ruling on the prosecutor’s request but said a letter would be sent to Turkey’s Justice Ministry seeking its opinion on the possible transfer of the file to Saudi judicial authorities, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Trial was adjourned until April 7.

The development comes as Turkey has been trying to normalise its relationship with Saudi Arabia, which hit an all-time low following Khashoggi’s grisly October 2018 killing. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview on Thursday that Saudi authorities were more cooperative on judicial issues with Turkey, but did not elaborate.

In arguing for the transfer, the prosecutor told the court that the Saudi chief public prosecutor’s office requested the Turkish proceedings be transferred to the kingdom in a letter dated March 13, and that international warrants issued by Ankara against the defendants be lifted, according to the private DHA news agency.

People hold posters of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. PHOTO: AP
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