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Dec 09 2018

Saudi rules out extradition of suspects in Khashoggi case to Turkey

Saudi Arabia will not extradite suspects in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, following the arrest warrants filed by Istanbul’s chief prosecutor for the arrest of two former senior Saudi officials, Reuters news agency said.

The announcement from the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry arrives after Turkish officials last week said that the prosecutor’s office had concluded there was “strong suspicion” that Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and General Ahmed al-Asiri, who served as deputy head of foreign intelligence, were among the planners of the 59-year-old Washington Post contributor’s Oct. 2 killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“We don’t extradite our citizens,” Reuters quoted Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir as saying, when asked about the arrest warrants during a speech he delivered at a news conference at a Gulf Arab summit in Riyadh.

The U.S. Treasury last month sanctioned 17 Saudis, including Qahtani but not Asiri, for their role in the murder of Khashoggi, which has created international uproar, with condemnation from European leaders and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Ankara maintains the journalist was killed at the hands of an execution squad from the Kingdom sent by the crown prince. Saudi strongly denies the allegation and says the journalist was killed and his body dismembered after negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.