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The trial of 20 Saudi nationals - including two former aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - indicted over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has kicked off in Turkey, AP reported.

They are seeking life prison terms for the defendants, who have all left Turkey.

Saudi Arabia rejected Turkey’s demands for the extradition of the suspects and brought to trial some of them in Riyadh.

The trial in Turkey will be closely monitored in the context of possible new information or evidence of the murder, including the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains that were never found.

The Turkish prosecutors have charged the prince’s former advisers, Saud al-Qahtani and Ahmed al-Asiri, with “instigating a premeditated murder with the intent of (causing) torment through fiendish instinct.”

Khashoggi, who was a US resident, entered the consulate of his country on October 2, 2018, to receive documents that would allow him to marry. But he never walked out.

A team of 15 Saudi agents flew to Turkey to meet with Khashoggi at the consulate. Among them were a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officials, as well as people working in the office of the Crown Prince.

Turkish officials claim that Khashoggi was killed and then dismembered with a bone saw.

Before his assassination, Khashoggi criticized the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Turkish prosecutors say the suspects “acted in consensus from the beginning in line with the decision of taking the victim back to Saudi Arabia and of killing him if he did not agree.”

A court in Riyadh sentenced five people to death, three others were convicted of concealing a crime and sentenced to 24 years in prison.

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in May, Khashoggi's son announced the family had forgiven the killers by providing legal reprieve to five government agents who had been sentenced to death.

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