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Germany bans travel for 18 Saudis linked to Khashoggi murder

German foreign minister says the murder of Saudi journalist has so far raised more questions than answers
Germany has followed the US in sanctioning Saudis suspected in Khashoggi murder (AFP)

Germany has imposed travel bans on 18 Saudis suspected of being linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the country's foreign minister announced on Monday. 

"In the Khashoggi case, we still have more questions than answers," Heiko Maas tweeted, adding that the sanctions were coordinated with France and the UK. 

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said she could not name the individuals, citing Germany's privacy laws.

The United States also sanctioned 17 Saudis last week, including suspected members of the alleged hit squad thought to have carried out the assassination and senior advisers to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including confidante Saud al-Qahtani.

Khashoggi, 59, a critic of the crown prince, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Turkey has said the murder was carried out by a team of Saudis who travelled to Istanbul for that purpose.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the order came from "the highest levels" of the Riyadh government but stopped short of pointing the finger of blame at the crown prince.

Saudi prosecutors said in a statement on Thursday that they will seek the death penalty for five defendants convicted of "ordering and committing" Khashoggi's murder, among 21 individuals currently in custody in connection with the killing.

Turkey, however, said the Saudi statement was "insufficient," with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu insisting that the killing was "premeditated".

Saudi King Salman bin Abdelaziz delivered his first speech since the murder of Khashoggi at the Shura Council on Monday, but the speech included no direct mention of the crisis. He praised the judiciary and public prosecution for carrying out their duties, and said his kingdom was founded “on an Islamic approach centred on justice.” 

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