(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) – Saudi prosecutors say the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned, reported media media on Thursday,…
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) – Saudi prosecutors say the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned, reported media media on Thursday, reflecting another change in the Saudi Arabian story about what happened to the writer killed by Saudi officials in their consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabian prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb said investigators concluded that Khashoggi’s death was a preventive crime after examining evidence from Turkish officials as part of a joint investigation, according to a statement on the state Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Arabia initially insisted that Khashoggi had left the consulate after visiting the building on October 2. It later released that account for a new one and said it had held 1
8 people left for what was said to be an accidental death during a “fistfight.”
Many countries responded to the version of a fight involving Khashoggi with skepticism and demands on openness. Turkey has boosted pressure on Saudi Arabia, a regional rival, to reveal more about the crimes.
The apparently clumsy cover of killing has been exposed to the world of Turkish leaks of information, security chamber films and, eventually, Saudi recognitions such as Khashoggi died in the consulate. Important mysteries that have not yet been explained are suspicions that the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince ordered the killing – even though he publicly condemned it – and from where the Washington Post columnist’s body was.
“Jamal Khashoggi’s body has not yet been found. Where is it?” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday at a press conference with his Palestinian counterpart.
“There is a crime here, but there is also a humanitarian situation. The family wants to know and they want to perform their last duty,” said Cavusoglu, referring to hopes of the author’s funeral.
The Turkish authorities informed about visiting the CIA chief Gina Haspel about the investigation of the killing and the evidence they have, a Turkish security officer who was not competent to speak with the media said on terms of anonymity. Officially could not confirm if Haspel had listened to an alleged sound recording of the killing. Pro-government media in Turkey reported officials have such a recording, but its existence has not been confirmed.
On Thursday, conflicting reports arose as to whether investigators had sought a well in the Saudi consulate’s garden as part of their probe.
Investigators emptied the well and awaited the results of an analysis of the water to determine whether body parts were dumped there, according to Yeni Safak, a Turkish newspaper for the government. But Sabah, another government magazine that has published leaks about the case of Turkish officials, said that Saudi Arabia has not yet allowed Turkish authorities to search.
Turkish media has also published a security camera image allegedly showing a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate “scouting” a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul before Khashoggi was killed. The picture, obtained by the State TV TRT and other media on Wednesday, shows a black car with a diplomatic sign at an entrance to Belgrade Forest.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Saudi officials made “reconnaissance” trips to the forest like the city of Yalova one day before Khashoggi was killed. Turkish officials have told The Associated Press that investigators investigated the possibility that the journalist’s remains may have been hidden in these two places.
Torchia reported from Istanbul and Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey.