Turkey Demands Extradition of 18 Khashoggi Suspects

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

Saud al-Mojeb, the public prosecutor of Saudi Arabia, arrived in Istanbul on Sunday night for meetings with Turkish officials over the investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

Turkish prosecutors repeated their demand for extradition of the 18 suspects Saudi Arabia has named in the case, as well as the location of Khashoggi’s remains, a detail the Saudis have yet to disclose.

According to Turkish media, Mojeb and his entourage asked Turkish officials for “the whole investigation folder, including evidence, statements, and footage,” but their request was denied. Mojeb is scheduled to tour the Saudi consulate where Khashoggi was killed on Monday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a public demand for extradition of the 18 Saudi suspects on Friday. The group reportedly includes all 15 members of the team sent from Saudi Arabia to confront Khashoggi when he entered the consulate in search of paperwork related to his divorce.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office submitted a formal extradition request, but Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Saturday extradition would not be granted. “The individuals are Saudi nationals. They’re detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia,” he insisted.

Jubeir said there has been “hysteria in the media about Saudi Arabia’s guilt” for Khashoggi’s death.

“We have made it very clear that we are going to have a full and very transparent investigation, the results of which will be released,” he promised. “We know that a mistake was committed, we know that people exceeded their authority, and we know that we are investigating them.”

“The responsibility of Saudi Arabia is very large here,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu declared on Monday.

Cavusoglu said “cooperation must continue” and the Saudi investigation “should not be prolonged.”

Speaking from a security conference in Bahrain on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis condemned the murder of Khashoggi and worried the incident could destabilize the Middle East.

“With our collective interests in peace and unwavering respect for human rights in mind, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic facility must concern us all greatly,” Mattis told the forum. “Failure of any one nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most.”

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