Poster of Jamal Khashogghi Saudi journalist killed at Saudi consulate in Turkey © ASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty Images

Turkey: Path to impunity and injustice for Khashoggi murder must not be taken

Following a speech by Bekir Bozdag, Turkey’s Justice Minister, where he said the government would recommend that trial in abstentia against 26 Saudi nationals charged in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi be suspended and the case be transferred to Saudi Arabia, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General said:

“Today is a dark day for those who have spent more three years campaigning for justice for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

“By transferring the case of a murder that was committed on its territory, Turkey will be knowingly and willingly sending the case back into hands of those who bare its responsibility. Indeed, the Saudi system has repeatedly failed to cooperate with the Turkish prosecutor and it is clear that justice cannot be delivered by a Saudi court.

“What has happened to Turkey’s declared commitment that justice must prevail for this gruesome murder and that this case would never become a pawn in political calculations and interest?

“Should the government indeed recommend the suspension of the prosecution, this would guarantee impunity – the opposite of justice for Jamal.

“Even though Amnesty International is concerned about trials in absentia, the Justice Minister has paved the path to impunity and injustice but It is still not too late to to reverse this ill-thought through decision.”