Saudi Arabian courts hear eight sessions on Jamal Khashoggi killing

Trial of 11 suspects opened this year in the kingdom

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014 Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi attends a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. Saudi Arabia is attempting a comeback on the global stage one year after  Khashoggi's murder, but the crisis has weakened it and undermined its de facto leader's ambitious reforms, analysts say. / AFP / MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH
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Saudi Arabia's courts have heard eight sessions related to the investigation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing in the year since it happened in the kingdom's consulate in Turkey.

"The judiciary is still considering the case that took place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018," the Saudi Arabian-owned Asharq Al Awsat newspaper reported.

"The courts are in constant communication with the public prosecutor about any developments in the case, new evidence and statements."

Members of the UN Security Council and Turkish and Saudi Arabian human rights organisations attended the sessions.

Official reports of the trial of 11 suspects, which began in January, did not detail who was included in the case.

But they said Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue operation” led by former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al Assiri and former royal court adviser Saud Al Qahtani.

Both men were sacked from their positions after the incident.

"Some defendants confessed to killing Jamal Khashoggi during the trial," Asharq Al Awsat reported. "The prosecution ordered the death penalty for five of the accused men."

The journalist's son, Salah Khashoggi, said he had full confidence in the kingdom's judicial system.

"A year has gone by since the passing of my beloved father," Mr Khashoggi said.

"During this time, opponents and enemies in the East and West sought to exploit his case to undermine my country and leadership.

“I will not accept that his memory and case be taken advantage of to achieve that after his passing.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman firmly denied having played any part in the operation.

"Absolutely not," Prince Mohammed said in an interview broadcast on CBS programme 60 Minutes on Sunday evening.

“As a leader, I must take responsibility. It’s a heinous crime that took place in a Saudi consulate."

He stressed the need to hold all of those involved in Khashoggi’s murder accountable.

“Today, investigations are being carried out," Prince Mohammed said.

"And once charges are proven against someone, regardless of their rank, it will be taken to court, no exception made."

The White House expressed its support for the Saudi investigation.