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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Turkish prosecutor statement: Jamal Khashoggi killing premeditated

Irfan Fidan's office says the journalist was strangled and dismembered at Saudi consulate

CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet shows Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. CCTV/Hurriyet via AP
CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet shows Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. CCTV/Hurriyet via AP

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 it was removed, a top Turkish prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Chief Istanbul prosecutor Irfan Fidan's office also said in a statement that discussions with Saudi chief prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb yielded "no concrete result" despite Turkey's "good-intentioned efforts to reveal the truth".

The announcement, which came just hours after the Saudi delegation had left Turkey, was the first public statement by a Turkish official that Khashoggi was strangled and mutilated after he entered the Saudi Consulate on October 2.

Mr Fidan's office said the Saudi delegation submitted a written statement and invited the Turkish delegation to come to Saudi Arabia bringing "evidence obtained during the course of the investigation."

The Saudi representatives said the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains and whether the killing was premeditated or not would only come to light through a joint interrogation by Turkish and Saudi investigators, according to the statement.

Riyadh has said that the journalist was murdered in the building in what was a rogue operation, and Saudi authorities have arrested 18 individuals in connection with his death.

Saudi officials say they do not know the whereabouts of his body, but that it was dumped with the help of a local collaborator.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Riyadh to disclose the identity of that alleged local collaborator.

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Read more:

Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Jamal Khashoggi killing 'heinous crime that cannot be justified'

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Saudi FM Adel Al Jubeir: Jamal Khashoggi killing was 'tremendous mistake' carried out in rogue operation

Jamal Khashoggi: Footage of writer 'body double' emerges after killing

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman publicly denounced the murder as "repulsive" and Saudi has promised a full investigation into his death, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Sunday following talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir in Bahrain.

During the talks, Mr Al Jubeir confirmed that a total of six individuals have been dismissed as part of the Saudi investigation.

Riyadh on Saturday rejected Ankara's request to extradite the Saudis being held over Khashoggi's murder and called on a Turkish delegation to visit Saudi Arabia to present evidence.

The murder was a violation of international law, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.

France said Wednesday that "not enough" was being done to find those responsible for the murder of Khashoggi, who was an insider in Saudi royal circles before going into self-imposed exile in the United States last year.

"This crime has to be punished and the perpetrators identified. The truth needs to come out," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.