Turkish prosecutor says Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered in Saudi Consulate

Turkish prosecutor says Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered in Saudi Consulate

Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb leaves his country's consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.

ISTANBUL — Turkeys public prosecutor said Wednesday that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered upon arrival at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

The statement, delivered as Saudi Arabias own prosecutor left Istanbul for Riyadh, appeared to mark the most conclusive official description to date of what happened to the prominent journalist and Washington Post contributing columnist when he entered the diplomatic mission on Oct. 2.

Subscribe to the Post Most newsletter: Todays most popular stories on The Washington Post

“Cemal Kasikci's body, after being strangled to death, was subsequently destroyed by being dismembered, once again confirming the planning of the murder,” Turkish prosecutor Irfan Fidan said in the statement, using a Turkish spelling of Khashoggis name.

Turkish media reported that Saud al-Mojeb, Saudi Arabias top prosecutor, had left for Istanbul airport following two days of meetings with his Turkish counterpart and representatives of Turkeys National Intelligence Agency. A senior Turkish official said Mojeb did not provide Fidan with the location of Khashoggis body or the identity of a “local collaborator” who Saudi authorities have asserted helped dispose of the journalists remains.

Since the prosecutor arrived in Turkey on Monday, “Saudi officials seemed primarily interested in finding out what evidence the Turkish authorities had against the perpetrators” in Khashoggis killing, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss private law enforcement contacts.

“We did not get the impression that they were keen on genuinely cooperating with the investigation,” the official said of the Saudi delegation.

Mojebs visit came just days after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hailed the “unique” cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia in the investigation into the killing of Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Turkey says members of a 15-man hit team, dispatched from Saudi Arabia, killed Khashoggi inside the consulate. Turkish investigators have not publicly released a key piece of evidence in the case — an audio recording of what occurred inside.

Saudi Arabia has provided shifting explanations about what happened to Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post who had written opinion columns criticizing Mohammed. Saudi authorities have acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate but blamed the murder on agents acting outside the states authority.

Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have repeatedly complained that Saudi Arabia is hampering the investigation by refusing to provide critical pieces of information, including the location of Khashoggis body. Turkey has also requested the extradition of 18 suspects who the Saudi government says have been arrested in Saudi Arabia in connection with the case.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the suspects will be tried in domestic courts.

The killing has unleashed a storm of criticism, causing Germany to suspend export licenses to the kingdom and placing President Trump in a quandary. In addition to being a major purchases of American weapons, Saudi Arabia sits at the heart of the administrations foreign policy in the Middle East.

Trump has said he is “not satisfied” with Saudi explanations of Khashoggis death. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has warned that the crisis could affect regional stability. But there are few indications that Khashoggis death will fundamentally alter the relationship between the two nations.

On Wednesday, a group of Republican senators called on Trump to suspend negotiations for a U.S.-Saudi civil nuclear agreement. They cited the fallout from Khashoggis death, as well as Riyadhs policies toward Lebanon and Yemen, as cause for “serious concerns about the transparency, accountability and judgement of current decision-makers.”

As Saudi Arabias de facto ruler, Mohammed has initiated social reforms in tandem with a fierce crackdown on dissent. Abroad, he is the architect of a bloody and grinding military campaign in Yemen, and he was accused last year of pressuring Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri into a short-lived resignation.

Reports from Riyadh this week suggest that the royal family is closing ranks in an attempt to protect itself from any repercussions.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Wednesday that his government would take “necessary measures” against those responsible for the journalists death. “So long as those who are responsible and the circumstances around the killing are not made public, released and evaluated, we will go on demanding the truth,” Le Drian told RTL radio.



By: The Washington Post

« world

Duke somehow survives challenge from UCF, advances to Sweet 16

Analysis: 'No collusion,' after all?

Deer Park fire burns into fourth day as nearby schools close

Asked Whether White Societies Are Superior, Steve King Demurs

Ex-Bush ethics chief calls for Steve King expulsion after he posted meme of potential civil war

Worker tried to warn others FIU bridge was unsafe. The collapse left him in a coma