Turk­ish pros­e­cu­tor, in first pub­lic state­ment, calls Ja­mal Khashoggi’s death pre­med­i­tated

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Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi was stran­gled as soon as he en­tered his coun­try’s con­sulate in Is­tan­bul as part of a pre­med­i­tated killing, and his body was dis­mem­bered be­fore it was re­moved, a top Turk­ish pros­e­cu­tor said yes­ter­day.

Chief Is­tan­bul pros­e­cu­tor Ir­fan Fi­dan’s of­fice also said that dis­cus­sions with Saudi chief pros­e­cu­tor Saud Al Mo­jeb yielded “no con­crete re­sult” de­spite Tur­key’s “good-in­ten­tioned ef­forts to re­veal the truth”.

The an­nounce­ment, which came just hours after the Saudi del­e­ga­tion left Tur­key, was the first pub­lic state­ment by a Turk­ish of­fi­cial that Khashoggi was stran­gled and mu­ti­lated after he en­tered the con­sulate on Oc­to­ber 2.

Mr Fi­dan’s of­fice said the Saudi del­e­ga­tion sub­mit­ted a writ­ten state­ment and in­vited the Turk­ish del­e­ga­tion to come to Riyadh bring­ing “ev­i­dence ob­tained dur­ing the course of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

The Saudi rep­re­sen­ta­tives said the where­abouts of Khashoggi’s re­mains and whether the killing was pre­med­i­tated or not would only come to light through a joint in­ter­ro­ga­tion by Turk­ish and Saudi in­ves­ti­ga­tors, the state­ment said.

Riyadh has said that the jour­nal­ist was mur­dered in the build­ing in what was a rogue op­er­a­tion, and Saudi au­thor­i­ties have ar­rested 18 peo­ple in con­nec­tion with his death.

Saudi of­fi­cials say they do not know the where­abouts of his body, but that it was dumped with the help of a lo­cal col­lab­o­ra­tor.

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan has called on Riyadh to dis­close the iden­tity of that lo­cal col­lab­o­ra­tor.

Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man pub­licly de­nounced the killing as re­pul­sive. Saudi Ara­bia has promised a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his death, US De­fence Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis said on Sun­day after talks with Saudi For­eign Min­is­ter Adel Al Jubeir in Bahrain.

Dur­ing the talks, Mr Al Jubeir con­firmed that six peo­ple have been dis­missed as part of the Saudi in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Riyadh on Satur­day re­jected Ankara’s re­quest to ex­tra­dite the Saudis be­ing held over Khashoggi’s mur­der and called on a Turk­ish del­e­ga­tion to visit Saudi Ara­bia to present ev­i­dence.

France said Wed­nes­day that “not enough” was be­ing done to find those re­spon­si­ble for the mur­der of Khashoggi.

“The truth needs to come out,” For­eign Min­is­ter JeanYves Le Drian said.

AP

Se­cu­rity footage shows jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi en­ter­ing the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul on Oc­to­ber 2

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