Istanbul prosecutor says Khashoggi was suffocated

Istanbul prosecutor says Khashoggi was suffocated

The statement, which was distributed to Turkish news channels and read out by reporters on live television, said that Khashoggi was strangled October 2 and his body dismembered and completely destroyed.

He made this known yesterday after the departure of the Saudi chief prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, from Istanbul after a two-day visit.

Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. In what it called a first step, it revoked the visas of some Saudi officials implicated in the slaying.

The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul was a violation of worldwide law, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

The 59-year-old's body "was dismembered and destroyed following his death", according to a report from Irfan Fidan's office. The newspaper claimed that his fingers were cut off and that he was killed by being beheaded.

He also met Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdelaziz.

But Riyadh on Saturday dismissed Ankara's calls to extradite 18 Saudis being held over Khashoggi's murder, as Washington warned the crisis risked destabilising the Middle East. Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday: "I just hope it all works out".

Turkey alleges a 15-member hit squad was sent to Istanbul to kill the journalist, a onetime Saudi insider who became an outspoken critic of Prince Mohammed in columns for The Washington Post.

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Turkey is requesting that Saudi Arabia hand over the suspects in the killing, which the kingdom has described as a rogue operation by officials who may have exceeded their orders or authority.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday the investigation needs to be completed swiftly. An earlier statement had said that Khashoggi had died accidentally in a fist-fight at the diplomatic building in Turkey. It did not say if Turkish officials would travel to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Crown Prince has been blamed for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

"The Saudi officials seemed primarily interested in finding out what evidence the Turkish authorities had against the perpetrators", the official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

The kingdom initially said it knew nothing about what happened to Khashoggi, but on Thursday said evidence shows the killing was premeditated.

The reputational damage suffered by Prince Muhammad embarrasses UAE Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed, who, together with his aides and representatives in world capitals, has worked hard to project his Saudi counterpart as the kingdom's future.

The chief prosecutor also confirmed that Khashoggi's death was premeditated.

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