France arrests suspected member of Khashoggi murder squad

Published December 8, 2021
A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 25, 2018. — Reuters/File
A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 25, 2018. — Reuters/File

PARIS: French police on Tuesday arrested a suspected member of the hit squad that murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul and who is wanted by Turkey to face justice over the killing.

Khalid Alotaibi, 33, was detained by border police on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by Turkey as he was about to board a flight to Riyadh from Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, judicial and airport sources said. He is due to appear before prosecutors on Wednesday.

He is one of 26 Saudis charged in absentia by Turkey over the killing in a trial that got underway in October 2020. If convicted, he could face life imprisonment.

Two of the 26 being tried in absentia in Turkey are former aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. No Saudi official has ever faced justice in person in Turkey for the killing.

Alotaibi is also one of 17 people that the US Treasury designated for sanctions in 2018 over their role in the murder.

He has the right to fight extradition to Turkey. If he does, the French judiciary must decide whether to keep him in detention pending a formal Turkish extradition request, or to free him on condition that he does not leave France.

It can typically take several weeks for a court to rule on whether to hand him over to Turkey against his will.

In September 2020, a Saudi court overturned five death sentences issued after a closed-door trial in Saudi Arabia, sentencing the accused to 20 years in prison instead.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Updating the economy
22 Jan, 2022

Updating the economy

GDP rebasing doesn’t make countries or people richer; it is just about updated data for policymakers to make informed decisions.
22 Jan, 2022

Covid curbs

CONSIDERING the steep rise in Covid-19 cases in the country over the past few days, the government decided on...
22 Jan, 2022

Cricket hope

SIX Pakistan players named across three teams of the year announced by the ICC is a testament to an uplifting 2021...
Emergency rumours
21 Jan, 2022

Emergency rumours

ISLAMABAD is once again in the grip of rumours. The latest issue finding traction revolves around a mysterious...
TTP attack
Updated 21 Jan, 2022

TTP attack

MONDAY night’s assault on a police party in Islamabad, which left one cop dead and two injured, marks a ...
21 Jan, 2022

Murree suspensions

ON Wednesday, the Met Office issued a red alert for more heavy snowfall in Murree over the coming weekend, and...