Saudi foreign minister rules out extraditing suspects in Khashoggi case

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 15, 2018. [REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser]

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Sunday ruled out the extradition of suspects in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after Istanbul’s chief prosecutor filed warrants for the arrest of two former senior Saudi officials.

Turkish officials said last week that the prosecutor’s office had concluded there was “strong suspicion” that Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and General Ahmed al-Asiri, who served as deputy head of foreign intelligence, were among the planners of Khashoggi’s Oct. 2 killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“We don’t extradite our citizens,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said when asked about the arrest warrants. He was speaking at a news conference at a Gulf Arab summit in Riyadh.

Last month, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned 17 Saudis, including Qahtani but not Asiri, for their role in Khashoggi’s murder.

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The Saudi public prosecutor has said the order to repatriate Khashoggi came from Asiri and that a travel ban has been imposed on Qahtani. Jubeir declined to confirm or deny whether the men were currently detained, referring the question to the Saudi public prosecutor.

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Saudi ArabiaCrown Prince Mohammed bin Salmansaudi journalist jamal khashoggiKhashoggi