Suspects in Khashoggi's killing brought before Saudi court

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Saudi prosecutors have called for the death penalty against five suspects accused of planning and carrying out the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi previous year.

The public prosecutor said that 11 defendants were present alongside their lawyers at the first session and the prosecution demanded the death penalty for five for their role in the murder, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The prosecutor sent two letters to Turkey requesting additional evidence connected to the case. Five people said to be "directly involved" in the murder are facing the death penalty.

CCTV footage obtained from Turkish news agency DHA shows Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (R) arriving at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, 2018. It was later revealed that he had been killed.

Saudi officials initially denied Khashoggi had been killed but later said he had died in a "fist-fight" inside the consulate.

Prosecutors say he was murdered in a "rogue" operation by agents sent to persuade him to return to the kingdom.

Mr Khashoggi's body has yet to be found amid reports that it was given to a local "fixer" who dissolved it in acid.

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But Turkish sources told MEE at the time that the Saudi officials were very uncooperative and only sought to find out what Turkey knew, failing to offer any evidence themselves.

The Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz had given orders to restructure the intelligence authority.

The names of the 11 defendants have not been officially released. No date was set for the next hearing.

A source, who read the translated version and who has been briefed on the investigation into Khashoggi's killing, has made the revelations to CNN.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said Khashoggi's killing was ordered by the highest level of Saudi leadership.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says it can not assess the fairness of a trial underway in Saudi Arabia over the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, emphasizing that in any case it is "not sufficient".

The kingdom initially denied Mr Khashoggi was murdered but - under increasing global condemnation - later changed its story and admitted the 59-year-old was killed as part of a "rogue operation". Under Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia has seen the arrest of business leaders, royals and activists while also recently granting women the right to drive. Saudi Arabia was the world's third top executioner in 2017, behind China and Iran, according to Amnesty International's most recent figures available.

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