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Pakistan lauds Saudi decision to indict those behind Khashoggi murder

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday appreciated an announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to initiate the process of indictment of those responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Commencement of this process demonstrates the resolve and commitment of the Saudi authorities to hold the culprits and their associates to account and fulfill the imperatives of justice, as has been mutually reaffirmed by both Saudi Arabia and Turkey, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

Earlier today, Saudi Arabia called for the death penalty against five people accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate, but absolved the crown prince of any blame.

Khashoggi, the Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was drugged and his body dismembered, a spokesman for the public prosecutor said, in the first Saudi confirmation of how the journalist died.

But spokesman Shaalan al-Shaalan denied Prince Mohammed had any knowledge of the killing.

The journalist’s body parts were then handed over to an agent outside the consulate grounds, Shaalan said.

The prosecutor has requested the death penalty for the five who “are charged with ordering and committing the crime and for the appropriate sentences for the other indicted individuals”, Shaalan said.

The announcement follows huge international outcry over the killing of the 59-year-old Khashoggi, last seen entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his marriage.

The journalist went into self-imposed exile in the United States in 2017 after falling out with Prince Mohammed.

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