Turkish prosecutor, in first public statement, calls Jamal Khashoggi’s death premeditated
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.
Security footage shows journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2