U.S. issues sanctions on 17 Saudis over Khashoggi murder

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh

Saudi top prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi murder

A protester dressed as Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, demonstrates outside the White House in the wake of the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

The latest Saudi account failed to appease officials in Turkey, who insist the killing and its coverup were carried out by the highest levels of government.

Saudi officials say they are pursuing the death penalty for five of the people involved in Khashoggi's death - which they now claim happened because he received a sedative overdose after getting into a fight with embassy officials.

Al-Mojeb's statement implicated two higher level officials in what the prosecutor said was an operation meant to either convince or force Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects charged in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen stepping into the doors of the Istanbul consulate to obtain paperwork for his marriage to a Turkish woman.

A statement by Saudi Prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb, circulated by Saudi Press Agency, concluded that the murder had been authorized by a minor official.

Weeks later, following worldwide outcry, the kingdom eventually admitted that Khashoggi had been killed, with the kingdom's public prosecutor later announcing that the strike was believed to be "premeditated". But, the rights organisation said in a statement, "in failing to sanction the crown prince or members of his inner circle, or taking other actions with respect to Saudi repression at home or its activities in Yemen, the administration isn't taking a particularly strong stand in terms of accountability".

Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor on Thursday demanded the death penalty for five people charged with involvement in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a case that has triggered global outrage. But there is no definitive evidence that Mohammed ordered the operation.

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

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They included Saud al-Qahtani, a former adviser to the crown prince who the treasury department alleged was "part of the planning and execution of the operation" that led to Khashoggi's murder; Maher Mutreb, who it said had "co-ordinated and executed" the operation; and Mohammed Alotaibi, the Istanbul consul-general.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia also requested Turkey sign a cooperation deal on investigation into the murder, the prosecution said.

Among the high-level officials incriminated in connection with the killing is former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri, who was sacked in the immediate aftermath of the killing. Turkish and Saudi authorities say the US -based columnist for The Washington Post was killed by a team from the kingdom inside the consulate after he went there to get marriage documents. Asked about that possibility, Jubeir said a distinction should be made between individuals who committed crimes and the government.

Thursday's statement by the prosecutor did not say whether either was among those indicted and provided no other names.

That general has since been named by The New York Times as Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, who was promoted to Saudi intelligence previous year.

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