Court Rejects Appeal of Transfer of Khashoggi Case

Saudi prince furious when Biden aide brought up issue

The 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is still a sore spot internationally, and efforts to end the legal proceedings by shifting the case to Saudi Arabia’s legal black hole remain a serious concern.

In October of 2018, Khashoggi disappeared into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. He was never seen again. Though the Turkish government was prepared to try Saudi officials in absentia for the killing, more recently the court has suspended the trial and will move it to Saudi Arabia and let them work it out.

The Saudis still deny anything untoward happened, and getting the trial moved there effectively ends it. The Turkish courts have rejected an appeal by Khashoggi’s fiancee to hold off on the transfer.

The Saudis have struggled with the narrative of the murder, and have remained very interested in burying the matter. Crown Province Mohammed bin Salman, seen as orchestrating the killing, doesn’t like to bring this matter up at all.

If a meeting with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was any indication, even broaching the subject is dangerous, as MBS was said to have ended up in a shouting tirade, warning Sullivan he will never discuss the matter again.

The Saudis are keen to bury the matter, to the point where not burying it is something to get mad about. The official stance is that the fate of Khashoggi should be immaterial to international ties.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.