STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty for Khashoggi murder, says journalist was killed by sedative overdose

Saudi prosecutors said Thursday they would seek the death penalty for five people allegedly involved in the ...

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 3:03 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2018 3:03 PM

Saudi prosecutors said Thursday they would seek the death penalty for five people allegedly involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A total of 11 people were charged, the Saudi Public Prosecutor's office said, adding that the five people facing capital punishment were directly involved in "ordering and executing the crime."

Capital crimes

Capital punishment

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal law

Criminal offenses

Homicide

Jamal Khashoggi

Law and legal system

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Misc people

Murder

Saudi Arabia

Societal issues

Society

Controlled substances

Deaths and fatalities

Drug overdoses

Drugs and society

Embassies and consulates

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Health and medical

Intelligence services

International relations

International relations and national security

King Salman

National security

Political Figures - Intl

State departments and diplomatic services

Substance abuse

Turkey

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Journalism and news media

Media industry

North America

The Americas

United States

Embargoes and sanctions

The prosecution also shared details of the journalist's murder, saying Khashoggi was killed on October 2 following "a fight and a quarrel" at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Prosecutors say Khashoggi was tied up and injected with an overdose of a sedative that killed him, then his body was dismembered and removed from the consulate by five people and given to a local collaborator.

The Saudi Public Prosecutor's office added that former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.

They were divided into three groups, it said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecution said.

"The head of the negotiation team concluded that it would not be possible to transfer the victim by force to the safe location in case the negotiations with him to return failed. The head of the negotiation team decided to murder the victim if the negotiations failed. The investigation concluded that the incident resulted in murder," the prosecutor said.

The head of the mission and the head of the negotiating team decided together to write a "false report" to the intelligence deputy chief saying Khashoggi left the building after the failed negotiations, the prosecutor added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called the Saudi Public Prosecutor's statement "unsatisfactory," reiterating a call for the culprits to be prosecuted under Turkish laws.

"They say (Khashoggi) resisted going back to their country and was killed. However, this murder was premeditated as we had announced before," Cavusoglu told reporters.

"The dismembering of the body is not an instant decision. They brought the necessary people and tools to kill him and dismember the body in advance," he added.

While Cavusoglu said that the Saudi decision to charge 11 defendants was a "positive step," it's "not enough."

"The identity of those who gave the orders should be revealed. It should not be covered up," he added.

The prosecution also revealed that the Royal Court advisor, Saud Qahtani, is banned from traveling pending the investigation into the murder.

Qahtani led the communications team of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and was removed from his role last month following Khashoggi's death.

All told, 21 people were arrested and six officials have been removed from their positions, according to the prosecutor and the Saudi Foreign Minister.

US issues sanctions

The US Treasury announced on Thursday in a statement that it was issuing sanctions on 17 Saudis for their roles in the murder of Khashoggi.

"The Saudi officials we are sanctioning were involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

"These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions," Mnuchin added.

"The Government of Saudi Arabia must take appropriate steps to end any targeting of political dissidents or journalists."

He said the US would continue to "ascertain all of the facts" and hold those guilty accountable "in order to achieve justice for Khashoggi's fiancee, children and the family he leaves behind."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also released a statement about the sanctions, saying they were the result of "serious human rights abuse."

"At the time of Khashoggi's killing, these individuals occupied positions in the Royal Court and several ministries and offices of the Government of Saudi Arabia," Pompeo said in the statement.

As a result of the sanctions the assets within the US jurisdiction of those sanctioned are blocked, the statement said, and "US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them."

"The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts, consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi," Pompeo added.

Audio recording: 'Tell your boss' the Saudi Crown Prince

The details that emerged Thursday come after The New York Times reported that people familiar with the audio recording say it contains an instruction to "tell your boss." American intelligence officials believe is a reference to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the audio recording was a "true disaster" that "shocked" the Saudi intelligence officer who heard it, pro-government Turkish newspaper the Daily Sabah reported on Tuesday.

CNN has not heard the recording and is unable to verify the voices on the tape or what they're purported to say.

Meanwhile, Riyadh has maintained that neither bin Salman nor his father, King Salman, knew of the operation to target Khashoggi, an American resident.

Saudi Foreign Minister al-Jubeir reiterated to reporters on Thursday that bin Salman had no involvement in the killing of the journalist.

"The Crown Prince has nothing to do with this issue," al-Jubeir said.

"In fact, the security adviser in the US said this. This was a rogue operation," he added.

"This was individuals exceeding their authority and going beyond their mandate.

"These individuals made a tremendous mistake and for this mistake they will pay a price and their case is in the court system."

Al-Jubeir went on to say that criticisms on Saudi Arabia "are baseless and illogical."

"Regarding the Turkish and Qatari media, I believe there was a vicious campaign directed at (The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and this is unfortunate," he added.

Turkey has claimed for weeks to have audio evidence that exposes how the Saudi journalist was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain papers for his upcoming marriage.

The Turkish chief prosecutor has previously said that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate as part of a premeditated plan, and his body dismembered.

The Saudis, meanwhile, have presented shifting stories about the journalist's death, initially denying any knowledge before arguing that a group of rogue operators were responsible for his death.

US officials have speculated that such a mission -- including the 15 men sent from Riyadh -- could not have been carried out without the authorization of bin Salman, heir apparent to the Saudi throne.

After Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi was killed in its Istanbul consulate, five high-ranking officials were dismissed, including bin Salman's media chief and the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20901250
Hinds19953410
Harrison17551302
Rankin13358276
Jackson13141243
Madison9949211
Lee9886170
Jones8308161
Forrest7537147
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6286144
Lamar613284
Lafayette6063117
Washington5288133
Bolivar4775129
Oktibbeha457097
Panola4456103
Pearl River4433141
Warren4294118
Marshall4283101
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4061132
Union404675
Neshoba4001176
Lincoln3883109
Hancock373385
Leflore3470124
Sunflower330789
Tate325082
Pike3205105
Scott311272
Yazoo304769
Alcorn298865
Itawamba297477
Copiah293965
Coahoma290378
Simpson289486
Tippah285168
Prentiss276559
Marion266279
Leake261473
Wayne261441
Grenada256284
Covington254980
Adams246882
Newton245561
George238347
Winston226081
Tishomingo222467
Jasper219948
Attala213573
Chickasaw205257
Holmes186972
Clay183054
Stone179531
Clarke177576
Tallahatchie175940
Calhoun165231
Yalobusha159736
Smith159234
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126533
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113732
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica103025
Claiborne101330
Benton97425
Kemper95628
Humphreys94432
Franklin82723
Quitman78916
Choctaw73717
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521201

Reported Deaths: 10736
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753981490
Mobile39011799
Madison34002496
Tuscaloosa25329444
Montgomery23996567
Shelby23160239
Baldwin20674302
Lee15567165
Calhoun14330311
Morgan14152271
Etowah13677346
Marshall11988220
Houston10402278
Elmore10008200
Limestone9843147
Cullman9501189
St. Clair9449234
Lauderdale9254228
DeKalb8756181
Talladega8104171
Walker7126275
Jackson6751110
Autauga6748103
Blount6511134
Colbert6225130
Coffee5418113
Dale4771111
Russell429338
Franklin420582
Chilton4100109
Covington4059114
Tallapoosa3904146
Escambia389574
Dallas3522149
Chambers3513122
Clarke346760
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295395
Winston273072
Bibb256059
Marengo248261
Geneva245975
Pickens233059
Barbour226255
Hale218675
Butler212867
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182544
Randolph177041
Monroe172440
Washington164738
Macon155548
Clay150055
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146341
Lamar139634
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124527
Bullock121540
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91334
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Mostly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 64°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 63°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 59°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Expect mostly cloudy skies on your Friday with a few spotty showers moving through the area, especially into the late-afternoon and evening. Some will likely stick around into Saturday morning. Temperatures remain cooler than average.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather