Suspects in Jamal Khashoggi's killing brought before Saudi court


Previously on Thursday, the kingdom's attorney general sought the death penalty for five of the 11 defendants charged with the murder of Khashoggi as their high-profile trial opened in Riyadh.

The first trial session of suspects in the Khashoggi murder case was held on Thursday in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

"We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and removed this episode only in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request - and to comply with local law", a Netflix spokeswoman said in a statement.

In the show's second installment, which first aired October 28, the California-bred Muslim-American comedian rebuked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the slaying of renowned columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the US -backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen. It was later revealed that he had been killed.

The United Nations' human rights office has said it could not assess the fairness of a trial taking place in Saudi Arabia into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, adding that it was "not sufficient". Turkish authorities later said that he was murdered inside the consulate by a Saudi hit squad. Ankara demanded that the suspects be tried in Turkey, but Saudi Arabia rejected the request.

Prosecutors announced that 11 suspects in the slaying attended their first court hearing with lawyers, however they have not been named. The public prosecutor has requested the death penalty for five of the suspects. They alleged that Khashoggi was tied up and injected with an overdose of a sedative that killed him.

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Turkish officials told MEE this week that Saudi authorities have themselves continued to provide inadequate information on the case and were obstructing Turkey's investigation.

One man who will not be on trial is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman and Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, who has been accused by some in the West of being behind the killing.

Turkish investigators have found evidence of acid inside the consulate building, which may have been used to dissolve Khashoggi's remains. Ten other suspects were still under investigation. No date was set for the next hearing.

The Khashoggi affair has given rare leverage to the kingdom's rivals, not only Turkey and its ally Qatar, with which Saudi Arabia broke off all relations 18 months ago, but also arch rival Iran.

In December, the US Senate approved two symbolic resolutions blaming Prince Mohammed for the killing of Khashoggi, after intelligence reports pointed in that direction, and urging an end to US participation in the Yemen war.