Turkey drops charges against 26 Saudis for Khashoggi murder amid MbS-Erdogan meeting
The Istanbul 11th Heavy Penal Court's decision came days before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Turkey, who, according to US intelligence, was responsible for ordering Khashoggi’s murder.
The judgement was only announced publicly two days after Muhammad bin Salman's visit, according to Duvar English.
🔴#BREAKING— ibrahim Haskoloğlu (@haskologlu) June 24, 2022
3 days after Erdogan and Crown Prince MBS met in Turkey, Turkish court closed the trial in absentia of 26 Saudis accused in the gruesome killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. pic.twitter.com/VJFUKV7j2Y
The lawyer for Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiance, said they would appeal the decision.
Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi journalist living in the United States who frequently criticised the kingdom’s government.
In 2018, he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was reportedly killed and dismembered by a Saudi hit squad.
Ties between Riyadh and Ankara were strained following his murder, for which Erdogan blamed Saudi Arabia’s government.
But earlier this year, Turkey stopped all criticism of the kingdom. It suspended the murder trial against the 26 Saudis in April and transferred the case to Riyadh, in a move that was condemned by rights groups.
Bin Salman’s recent visit appears to have further strengthened ties between the two states.