Turkish prosecutor says Saudi writer strangled, later dismembered
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Turkish prosecutor says Saudi writer strangled, later dismembered

Irfan Fidan laments that talks with his Saudi counterpart, visiting Istanbul, produced no ‘concrete results’ despite ‘good-willed efforts’ in case of missing journalist Khashoggi

Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb leaves his country's consulate in Istanbul, October 30, 2018. (Can Erok/DHA via AP)
Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb leaves his country's consulate in Istanbul, October 30, 2018. (Can Erok/DHA via AP)

ISTANBUL — Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of a premeditated killing, and his body was dismembered before being disposed of, a top Turkish prosecutor said Wednesday.

A statement from chief Istanbul prosecutor Irfan Fidan’s office also said that discussions with Saudi chief prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb have yielded no “concrete results” despite “good-willed efforts” by Turkey to uncover the truth.

The statement is the first public confirmation by a Turkish official that Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered after he entered the Saudi Consulate on October 2 to collect paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancée.

The announcement came as Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, ended a three-day visit to Istanbul during which he held talks with Fidan and other Turkish officials.

Turkish police crime scene investigators, looking for possible clues into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, walk toward an underground parking lot, where authorities had found a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate, in Istanbul, October 23, 2018. (AP/Emrah Gurel)

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 Saudi suspects detained in Saudi Arabia over the killing of Khashoggi. It is also pressing Saudi Arabia for information concerning Khashoggi’s remains, which still haven’t been found, as well as who ordered the journalist’s slaying. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also called on Riyadh to disclose the identity of an alleged local collaborator said to have been involved in disposing of Khashoggi’s body.

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old columnist for The Washington Post, vanished after entering the consulate in Istanbul to pick up paperwork for his upcoming marriage to his fiancée, who was waiting for him outside. A critic of the Saudi royal family, Khashoggi had been living in exile in the United States.

Turkey alleges a Saudi hit squad from Saudi Arabia — including a member of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s entourage during a trip to the United States— traveled to Istanbul to kill the journalist and then tried to cover it up.

Under mounting pressure, Saudi Arabia changed its narrative about Khashoggi’s killing several times, eventually admitting that Khashoggi died inside the consulate and only recently acknowledging that Turkish evidence shows his killing was premeditated.

Saudi Arabia has not commented on the prosecutor’s visit.

In this photo taken on December 15, 2014, Jamal Khashoggi looks on at a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. (AFP/Mohammed Al-Shaikh)
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