Secretive Khashoggi Murder Trial Begins in Saudi Arabia, Five Face Death Penalty

The trial of 11 people accused of being involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi has begun in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, state media report, with five of the defendants facing execution. Prosecutors asked for the death penalty for the five during the first court hearing in the Khashoggi case Thursday, saying the journalist was murdered in a “rogue” operation by agents sent to persuade him to return to the kingdom. Scant information was released by state media—no names of the defendants have been officially released. Saudi Arabia has refused Turkey’s request to extradite 18 suspects for trial, including a hit squad of 15 alleged agents who Turkey alleges flew to Istanbul to carry out the killing. Khashoggi, a prominent U.S.-based critic of the Saudi royal family, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October of last year.