Turkish prosecutors have prepared a second indictment over the 2018 killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, formally charging six Saudi officials, media reports say.
The broadcaster NTV and other media outlets did not specify whether the six suspects were among the 20 Saudi officials already being tried in absentia in an Istanbul court in Khashoggi’s case.
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, two of the suspects would face aggravated life jail sentences, if convicted, while the other four could be jailed for up to five years.
Khashoggi, a former advocate of the Saudi royal court who had become a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed and his body dismembered by a Saudi hit squad in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, where he had gone to obtain documents for his impending wedding.
The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a columnist, reported in November that year that the CIA had concluded that bin Salman personally ordered his killing.
Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur for extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, has said there was credible evidence that the crown prince and other ranking Saudi officials were individually liable. She has called for an independent and impartial international inquiry into the foul play.
Riyadh has spurned all the allegations linking the killing to bin Salman and instead claimed that the murder was committed by a “rogue” group.
Earlier this month, a Saudi court sentenced eight defendants to seven to 20 years in jail over the murder of Khashoggi, a ruling rejected by a United Nations expert as a “parody of justice”.