United Nations says Riyadh trial not sufficient in Khashoggi case

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The first court session has been held for suspects in the murder case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

On January 3 the trial of the 11 accused opens with Saudi Arabia's attorney general seeking the death penalty for five defendants.

The Saudi General Prosecution said the interrogation of a number of the accused would continue, adding that two requests asking for further evidence had been sent to Turkey.

"It blows my mind that it took the killing of a Washington Post journalist for everyone to go, 'Oh, I guess he's really not a reformer, '" Minhaj said of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the October episode.

Saudi officials have rejected accusations that the crown prince ordered his murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, in which Khashoggi's body was dismembered, removed from the building and handed over to an unidentified "local cooperator".

"This is why a UN-led and independent investigation is needed".

Turkey has also demanded Saudi Arabia extradite those 18 suspects to be tried there for Khashoggi's killing.

Eleven people charged in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been brought before a Saudi court for an initial hearing.

No date has been set for the next hearing and it was unclear how long the trial would last.

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The trial will be more for domestic consumption, allowing officials to say something has been done, said David Roberts, an assistant professor at King's College London who studies the Gulf. In November, the prosecutor's office said it had 21 suspects in custody.

Officials in Turkey could not be immediately reached for comment.

In the roughly 18-minute now-censored "Patriot Act" monologue, Minhaj also mentions the ruling Al Saud family and its vast wealth, saying: "Saudi Arabia is insane".

"This entire cover-up exists for one reason", Minhaj said, before the show cut to clips of reporters citing analysts who suggested that the changing story was made to protect the crown prince.

Netflix confirmed on Tuesday that it removed an episode of a satirical comedy show that criticizes Saudi Arabia, after officials in the kingdom reportedly complained.

They alleged Khashoggi was tied up and injected with an overdose of a sedative that killed him.

"It is clear that elements from high levels of the Saudi state were involved in Khashoggi's murder", HA Hellyer, senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told AFP.

Last week, Salman put Ibrahim al-Assaf, a veteran former finance minister, in charge of foreign affairs in an effort to improve the kingdom's image.

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