Turkish intelligence agencies concluded that he was killed in a premeditated murder, while the CIA has reportedly found that MBS likely ordered the killing.
But Riyadh has consistently denied that the crown prince was involved.
Speaking from Istanbul, Mehmet Celik, managing editor of the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper, told Al Jazeera that Monday's preliminary verdict raised questions around the credibility of the trial.
'The fact that several high-profile people have not been charged raises questions around the credibility of the trial and whether or not these people [sentenced to death] were chosen as scapegoats.
'There has been evidence that phone calls were held between Qahtani and the people who carried out the murder,' he added.