Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor on Thursday demanded the death penalty for five people charged with involvement in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a case that has triggered global outrage.
The Saudi prosecution said that a total of 11 people have so far been charged for Khashoggi's murder, which took place inside the Saudi embassy in Turkey on October 2.
Last month, Istanbul's chief prosecutor said that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate and that his body was dismembered, in the first official comments on the case. "This process can not be closed down in this way", he said.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the prosecutor's office said that fresh information had been provided by a joint Saudi-Turkish team, along with interrogations of 21 suspects now in custody. Instead, the prosecutor said it has generated "a composite sketch of the collaborator". The top Saudi prosecutor says Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the diplomatic facility. The two are instead being accused of ordering Khashoggi's forced return in an operation the Saudis allege went awry.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Shalaan bin Rajih Shalaan later denied Salman was aware of the killing, saying investigations "revealed that the person who ordered the killing was the head of the negotiations team" and MBS "did not have any knowledge about it".
Turkey has shared an audio recording of the killing with the US, France, Canada, Germany, U.K., but it has stopped just short of blaming Prince Mohammed.
He also rejected Turkey's demand for an worldwide inquiry into the murder, saying Riyadh had its own "investigative body" and would "reject" an independent investigation into the killing.
U.S. officials have speculated that such a mission - including the 15 men sent from Riyadh - could not have been carried out without the authorization of bin Salman, heir apparent to the Saudi throne.
Saudi prosecutors said the men deemed Khashoggi a threat because of his work as a writer and because he was allegedly backed by groups and countries that are hostile to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for five suspects involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince, who has also presided over a roundup of activists and businessmen.
Khashoggi had gone to the consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.