Saudi Arabia on Sunday ruled out the possibility of extraditing its nationals to Turkey for their alleged involvement in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"We don't extradite our citizens," Anadolu News Agency quoted Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir as saying in response to a query over the arrest warrants issued to two of its nationals on the sidelines of the 39th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit here.
The minister added that those who were found guilty in Khashoggi's murder have been referred to the prosecutor's office. He further stressed that Riyadh is open to cooperation and assistance in the investigation pertaining to the case.
The response from the Saudi Foreign Minister came after a court in Istanbul earlier this week issued arrest warrants for two former Saudi officials allegedly involved in Khashoggi's killing.
The decision came after Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office demanded the arrests of Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Ahmed al-Asiri, a former deputy intelligence chief over their alleged role in the scribe's murder.
On October 2, Khashoggi was reported missing after he stepped into Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to collect paperwork that would allow him to get married to his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who later said that he never appeared from the building.
After days of denial, Saudi Arabia later confirmed its role in Khashoggi's killing after facing massive pressure from Turkey over their investigations on the issue. But their contradictory statements have led to international uproar led by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has demanded Riyadh to come clean and accept their role in the scribe's death.
In response, the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister had admitted that the murder of the scribe was "a mistake and a rogue operation".
Investigations into Khashoggi's killing are still going on in both Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump has refused to sever ties with "key ally" Saudi Arabia over the journalist's demise, despite a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report that concluded the Saudi crown prince to be behind Khashoggi's death.
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