Saudis rule out extraditing Khashoggi murder suspects to Turkey

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair says his country does not hand over its citizens in response to Turkish demand.

Saudi Arabia''s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh
Jubeir said Turkey has not provided any evidence that can be used in a court of law [File: Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters]

Saudi Arabia has ruled out extraditing two of its former officials against whom Turkey has issued arrest warrants in connection with the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We don’t extradite our citizens,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in a press conference in capital Riyadh on Sunday, when asked for his comments on the Turkish move.

Khashoggi, who was a columnist for The Washington Post and a vocal critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul in October.

A Turkish court had on Wednesday issued arrest warrants against former Saudi intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and former adviser to the royal court Saud al-Qahtani at the request of Istanbul’s chief prosecutor.

Assiri often sat in during Prince Mohammed’s closed-door meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries and Qahtani was a key counsellor.


Both were sacked after Riyadh admitted Khashoggi was killed in its consulate, but the kingdom has repeatedly denied reports that MBS is linked to the murder.

“The Turkish authorities have not been as forthcoming as we believe they should have been,” said Jubeir, adding Riyadh was presented with information that had already been leaked to the media.

“We have asked our friends in Turkey to provide us with evidence that we can use in a court of law. We have not received it in the manner that it should have been received.”

Last month, Saudi prosecutors said they were seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 Saudi nationals indicted for Khashoggi’s murder.

US President Donald Trump has refused to call out the Saudi leadership for its alleged involvement in the murder, despite the CIA reportedly presenting him with evidence of it. 

‘Where is the body?’

Meanwhile, Hatice Cengiz, the Turkish fiancee of the late Khashoggi, has demanded to know the whereabouts of his body, and called for the speedy prosecution of those responsible for carrying out his murder.

“I want to expose the circumstances of this case, to identify those responsible, and for perpetrators of the crime and those who ordered it to be prosecuted fairly, so that they can get the punishment they deserve,” she said in an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic.

“As relatives of Jamal, we have to know where the body is,” the 39-year-old said. “This is our human right.”

Cengiz reacts while watching a tribute video during a commemorative ceremony held last month in Istanbul [File: Chris McGrath/Getty Images]
Cengiz reacts while watching a tribute video during a commemorative ceremony held last month in Istanbul [File: Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

Cengiz said she had rejected an invitation from Trump to visit the White House last October, and that the invitation was not renewed.

She went on to say she is still living “a shock she cannot overcome” despite the confirmation of Khashoggi’s death.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies