Turkey on Monday criticised a Saudi court verdict over the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying it stopped well short of delivering justice and shedding light on the killing.

The decision announced by the Saudi court “is far from meeting the expectations of both our country and the international community to shed light on the murder with all its dimensions and deliver justice,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Ankara also said key aspects of the murder including the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body were “left in the dark”, which the ministry said was a “fundamental deficiency” in terms of accountability.

The 59-year-old Washington Post contributor was killed in the kingdom’s Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, by a 15-man Saudi squad who strangled him and cut his body into pieces.

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His remains were never found.

A Saudi court on Monday sentenced five people to death over the murder, handing three others long jail sentences and acquitting the remaining three charged in the case, while two top figures were exonerated.

“Saudi announcement not acceptable ..!” Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz wrote on Twitter, with a hashtag #justice_for_jamal #JamalKhashoggi #Jamal_Khashoggi.

Khashoggi had gone to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork ahead of his wedding to Cengiz.

“It is not only a legal but also a conscientious responsibility to shed light on this murder committed in our territory and to punish all those responsible,” the Turkish foreign ministry said.

It reiterated Turkey’s expectation of judicial cooperation from Saudi authorities.

Turkey’s ties with Saudi Arabia came under strain after the brutal murder, which tarnished the international reputation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


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