New Delhi: A Turkish prosecutor has confirmed that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate. Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, Saud Al Mojeb, has said the killing of the dissident writer was planned and that he had asked a Saudi prosecutor to reveal the location of the body. Also Read - Minneapolis Cop Who Knelt on George Floyd's Neck Arrested, Charged With Third-degree Murder
In a press statement, the Chief Prosecutor’s office said that talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb “ended with no concrete results”. It said that the Saudi authorities did not release any statement regarding a local collaborator in the Khashoggi murder, Yenisafak newspaper reported. The journalist was suffocated immediately after entering Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2, the statement added, as it reiterated a request for the extradition of suspects arrested by Saudi Arabia in the case of the brutal murder. Also Read - Trump Bans Entry of Certain Groups of Chinese Students to US
Reportedly, prosecutor further said that Khashoggi’s body ‘cut into pieces’ after the murder. Khashoggi — a fierce critic of Riyadh’s human rights violations and of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies — disappeared after entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 for the paperwork needed for his planned marriage. Also Read - US President Donald Trump Cuts Ties, Terminates WHO Funding Permanently
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Irfan Fidan said he was invited to Saudi Arabia as part of the probe. According to the statement, the killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a supporter-turned-critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamad bin Salman, was “pre-planned and his body parts were disposed off after being dismembered”.
He was “choked immediately” after entering Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his forthcoming marriage, it said. According to the report, Fidan asked Mojeb about the location of the journalist’s body and whether the Saudi investigation had reached any findings regarding plans to kill Khashoggi.
However, on October 20, Saudi Arabia had admitted that critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul at the hands of Saudi officials. The admission came after weeks of vehement denials by the Gulf kingdom in connection with the matter. Earlier, US President Donald Trump had warned the United States, which is Saudi Arabia’s biggest backer, could impose sanctions if it was proved the journalist was killed.
The murder of the Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident, Khashoggi spiralled into a crisis for Saudi Arabia. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had urged Saudi Arabia to disclose the facts behind the brutal murder including who ordered Khashoggi’s murder and the location of his body.
Following the international outrage over the macabre circumstances on Jamal Khashoggi’s case, the Saudi public prosecutor reversed its statement and declared that the killing was premeditated. An earlier statement had said that Khashoggi had died accidentally in a fist-fight at the diplomatic building in Turkey.
When asked about the possibility of the crown prince’s involvement in the killing, US President Donald Trump had told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday: “Well, the prince is running things over there… so if anybody were going to be, it would be him.”
The slain journalist had also been an outright critic of the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his policies.
(With agency inputs)