Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Saudis reject extraditions to Turkey over Khashoggi murder

Turkish court issues arrest warrants for two men

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Sunday said that the kingdom would not extradite suspects connected to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Adel Al Jubeir said it rejected Turkey's demands to deport Saudi nationals, including intelligence chief Ahmad Al Assiri and former adviser to the royal court Saud Al Qahtani. On Wednesday, a Turkish court issued arrest warrants for the two men at the request of Istanbul's chief prosecutor.

Both men were sacked after Riyadh admitted Khashoggi was killed in its consulate.

"We do not extradite our citizens," said Mr Al Jubeir during a news conference in Riyadh at the end of a summit of Gulf Co-operation Council states.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called on Saudi Arabia to hand over suspects in the murder of the dissident journalist.

Khashoggi, a Saudi contributor to the The Washington Post, was killed shortly after entering the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

"The Turkish authorities have not been as forthcoming as we believe they should have been," said Mr Al Jubeir, saying that Riyadh was presented with information that had already been leaked to the media.

"We have asked our friends in Turkey to provide us with evidence that we can use in a court of law. We have not received it in the manner that it should have been received."

Mr Erdogan has insisted the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government, a claim that Riyadh and its Gulf allies have denied.

Mr Al Assiri often sat in during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's closed-door meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries and Mr Al Qahtani was a key counsellor to the crown prince.

According to Turkey, a 15-member Saudi team was sent to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi. Qahtani was among 17 Saudi officials targeted by sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department in mid-November for "his role in preparing for the operation" against the journalist.

Updated: December 10, 2018 12:33 PM

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