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Turkish investigators told suspects will not be extradited

By Jay Jackson, Baton Rouge News
10 Dec 2018, 18:12 GMT+10

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia Suspects in the Turkish investigation into the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi will not be extradited to Turkey.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister made the announcement on Sunday at the conclusion of a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh.

Turkey had requested a large number of men who it had identified as participants in the journalists death be extradited. Arrest orders were issued last week on behalf of Istanbuls chief prosecutor.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said Sunday the kingdom had rejected Turkey's demands to deport Saudi nationals, including former intelligence chief Ahmad Al Assiri and former adviser to the royal court Saud Al Qahtani.

"We do not extradite our citizens," Mr Jubeir said during a news conference.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consistently called on Saudi officials to hand the men over to Turkish investigators, claiming the crime took place on Turkish soil.

"The Turkish authorities have not been as forthcoming as we believe they should have been," Al Jubeir said, claiming much of the information it had received from Turkey 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," he said.

Saudi Arabia is conducting its own investigation into Mr Khashoggis death, while maintaining it is cooperating with the Turkish investigation.

The Saudi public prosecutors office has issued 21 arrest warrants, and eleven of the men arrested have been formally charged so far. The public prosecutor has said he will be demanding the death penalty for five of the suspects if they are convicted.

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