Istanbul, October 31: Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and his body was dismembered before being disposed of, A top Turkish prosecutor said in a statement on Wednesday. This is the first public confirmation by a Turkish official about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi consulate.
Irfan Fidan, the chief Istanbul prosecutor, said Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate on October 2 to collect paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancee. He also added no "concrete results" were yielded from his discussions with Saudi chief prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb despite "good-willed efforts" by Turkey to uncover the truth. Jamal Khashoggi Disappearance: 'Hit Squad' Members Linked to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
According to the statement, Khashoggi was "choked immediately" after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate. The murder was "pre-planned and his body parts were disposed off after being dismembered", it added.
Turkey is seeking information concerning Khashoggi's remains, which are yet to be located, from Saudi Arabia as well as the extradition of 18 Saudi suspects detained there. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Riyadh to reveal the location of Khashoggi's body and hand over the suspects involved in his killing. Missing Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Last Article: What the Arab World Needs Most is Free Expression.
After weeks of providing conflicting accounts of what happened to Khashoggi, the kingdom last week said that he was killed "accidentally" in a fist fight at the consulate by "rogue" agents. But Riyadh maintained that neither the Crown Prince nor King Salman knew of the operation to target Khashoggi. Missing Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Last Article: What the Arab World Needs Most is Free Expression.
Khashoggi -- a permanent resident of the US in self-imposed exile who was a fierce critic of the Crown Prince's policies -- has been missing since he entered the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 for the paperwork needed for his planned marriage. Turkish officials say that the journalist was killed by a special team of 15 Saudi officials sent to Istanbul for the task. (With agency inputs)