Jamal Khashoggi Image Credit: AFP

Manama: A Saudi prosecutor has asked for the death penalty for five of 11 suspects held over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, the state news agency SPA reported on Thursday.

The trial of the suspects in the killing of Khashoggi opened today in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The public prosecutor said that 11 defendants were present alongside their lawyers at the first session and that the prosecution demanded the death penalty for five for their role in the murder, he added.

The defendants requested a copy of the case and wanted to be given some time in order to respond to the charges.

More on the case

The court allowed them time to prepare their responses while the prosecution will move forward with its investigation with several defendants, he said.

The prosecutor said that two more memorandums were sent to the Turkish public prosecution on December 17 to seek the evidence available in the case, but no answer has been received.

Three memorandums had been sent on October 17, October 25 and October 31 to the Turkish public prosecution, but the Saudis are still waiting for a response, the public prosecutor said.

Khashoggi was killed on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

A Saudi-Turkish team had been formed to look into the case while the Saudis launched their own investigation in the kingdom.

The Saudi said that 21 suspects were subsequently arrested and the public prosecution demanded the death penalty for five of them.

Saudi Arabia has condemned the murder and insisted that it was a criminal case and should be approached as such without giving it any other dimension.