Turkey issues arrest warrant for Saudi officials over death of Jamal Khashoggi

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Istanbul’s chief prosecutor has released warrants for the arrest of Saud al-Qahtani and General Ahmed al-Asiri over suspected involvement in the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi. The two men have close ties to Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been accused of ordering the death of the Washington Post journalist.

Mr. Khashoggi disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to obtain official papers for his upcoming marriage. His body was then dismembered, according to Turkish and Saudi prosecutors, and his remains are yet to be found.

Jamal Kashoggi had been a prominent journalist, and was for decades close to the Saudi royal family while also serving as an adviser to the government. However, he reportedly fell out of favour and went into self-imposed exile in the US in 2017, where he wrote articles critical of the policies of the crown prince.

In a press conference in Geneva, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has said an international investigation is “really needed” to determine “what really happened and who are the [people] responsible for that awful killing.” She has previously called for Turkey and Saudi Arabia to cooperate in their separate investigations into the death.

Saudi Arabia has said the Prince had no prior knowledge of the murder. Both men were removed from their positions in October and are currently believed to be in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government is reportedly not expected to hand them over to Turkish authorities following the release of the warrants.

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