Khashoggi was ‘strangled, dismembered’ in Saudi consulate, Turkish prosecutor confirms
The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office has said that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled right after he entered the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, while also confirming earlier media reports that his body was “dismembered.”
In a written press statement on Oct. 31, the chief prosecutor’s office noted that talks with Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb “ended with no concrete results” and the Saudi authorities noted that they did not release any earlier statement pointing to a “local collaborator” who disposed Khashoggi’s body.
A senior Saudi official had told Reuters on Oct. 21 that the Saudi team rolled up Khashoggi’s body in a rug, took it out in a consular vehicle and handed it to a “local cooperator” for disposal.
Daily Hürriyet columnist Abdulkadir Selvi had written on Oct. 22 that the “hit squad” in the Saudi consulate “strangled” and the body was dismembered by a Saudi forensics expert.
Selvi also wrote on Oct. 31 that Turkish authorities shared with Mojeb some visual evidence in the case, but felt “uncomfortable” when the Saudi prosecutor insisted on getting a virtual copy of Khashoggi’s phone.
According to Selvi, Turkish officials were in “a deep distrust” toward Mojeb as he repeatedly refused to answer questions about the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body.
Similarly, a senior Turkish official told AFP on Oct. 31 that Saudi officials appeared unwilling to “genuinely cooperate” with Turkey.
Talks between top prosecutors produce no results
Prosecutor Al Mojeb arrived in Istanbul on Oct. 28 night and held talks on Oct. 29 with Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, İrfan Fidan, days after he contradicted weeks of Saudi statements by saying that Khashoggi’s killing was premeditated.
He held a second round of talks with Fidan at the court house on Oct. 30 before inspecting the Saudi consulate in the Levent neighborhood.
Demirören News Agency reported that Mojeb left Turkey after he visited the Istanbul office of Turkey's National Intelligence Agency (MİT) early Oct. 31.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, was killed inside the consulate after he went there to get documents for his forthcoming marriage on Oct. 2.
After a weeks-long denial, Saudi Arabia admitted on Oct. 25 that the journalist fell victim to a premeditated killing in the building while arresting 18 people, although the whereabouts of his body remained unclear.