Twenty Saudi nationals have been sent on trial in absentia in Turkey for the assassination of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi journalist and was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Two former aides to the prince, who denied the involved, are among the defendants.
Khashoggi’s Turkish Fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, was among those who testified at the opening session.
She spoke to media outside the courtroom. She said that she found the process spiritually and psychologically weakening.
She expressed confidence in the Turkish judicial system and said, “Our search for justice will continue in Turkey as well as in everywhere we can.”
Another witness Zeki Demir, a Turkish citizen who worked as a handyman at the Saudi consulate. He informed the court that he was called to the consul general’s residence on the day Khashoggi disappeared and asked to light an oven used for making barbecues.
“There were five to six people there,” he said. “There was an air of panic… It was as if they wanted me to leave as soon as possible.”
Ms. Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur who was also at the hearing, said: “We have not moved the killing of Jamal Khashoggi into a formal setting that the international community can recognize, because the trial in Saudi Arabia could not be given credibility and legitimacy.”
“Here for the first time, we have the hitmen being indicted and we have a number of those have commissioned the crime,”
Saudi Arabia had convicted 8 people over the murder last year. The kingdom had earlier rejected Turkey’s extradition request.
Five of them were given a death sentence for directly taking part in the killing, while 3 others were thrown in jail for covering up the murder.