Saudis refuse to extradite Khashoggi murder suspects
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called on Riyadh to hand over men connected to death of dissident journalist in Istanbul in October
Saudi Arabia on Sunday rejected demands that suspects connected to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi be extradited to Turkey.
“We do not extradite our citizens,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh at the end of a summit of Gulf Cooperation Council states.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called on Saudi Arabia to hand over suspects in the killing of the dissident journalist.
Khashoggi was brutally murdered shortly after entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
At the request of Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, a Turkish court on Wednesday issued arrest warrants for former Saudi intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and former adviser to the royal court Saud al-Qahtani.
Assiri was frequently present during de facto ruler Mohammed Bin Salman’s ‘s closed-door meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries and Qahtani was a key counselor to the crown prince.
Both were fired after Riyadh admitted Khashoggi was killed in its consulate.
“The Turkish authorities have not been as forthcoming as we believe they should have been,” said Jubeir, saying 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.”
According to the Turkish authorities, a 15-member Saudi team was sent to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi.
Erdogan has said the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government but has insisted it was not King Salman.
The Turkish leader insisted last weekend during a trip to South America that Riyadh hand over the suspects, but said the kingdom was not cooperating.
Riyadh has since detained 21 people over the murder.
– With reporting by Agence France-Presse