Tags: turkey | khashoggi | killing | premeditated

Saudi Prosecutor: Khashoggi Killing Was Premeditated

jamal khashoggi seen head and shoulders photo wearing arab headdress facing left
(Getty Images)

Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:09 AM

Saudi Arabia’s prosecutor has determined the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul premeditated, contradicting earlier contentions that the journalist was killed by accident.

A statement broadcast Thursday by the state-owned al-Ekhbariya channel was based on information received from Turkish investigators.

The Saudi prosecution is continuing its interrogations of the suspects in light of the information and the findings of its preliminary investigations, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The announcement comes as Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel prepares to brief U.S. President Donald Trump following a quick trip to Turkey this week. The Washington Post reported that Haspel heard an audio tape allegedly made of Khashoggi’s interrogation and killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

The CIA declined to comment when asked whether Haspel heard any such recording. A Turkish official said the Washington Post report was accurate.

Trump’s administration is facing rising pressure to act against its long-time ally Saudi Arabia and the president has appeared to be stepping back from giving Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman his full support. The U.S. has long been Saudi Arabia’s most important partner and Trump has made the kingdom the centerpiece of his efforts to isolate Iran.

On Tuesday, Trump called the shifting stories over Khashoggi’s fate -- the crown prince initially said the journalist left the consulate on this own -- “one of the worst in the history of cover-ups.”

After denying Khashoggi’s death for nearly three weeks, the kingdom last week said the columnist was accidentally killed after a discussion at the consulate turned into an altercation. It hasn’t explained why his body is still missing, however, or how a meeting in a diplomatic compound grew violent.

Saudi Arabia has said that 18 people had been arrested in connection with the incident. A senior intelligence official and an adviser to Prince Mohammed were also removed from their jobs.

Prince Mohammed on Wednesday made his first public comments since his government admitted Khashoggi had been killed. Speaking at an investment forum he was hosting in Riyadh, the crown prince called the killing a “heinous crime” but offered no new information on what happened.

In a speech timed to coincide with the start of a three-day international business conference in Riyadh on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected the Saudi narrative and said that Khashoggi’s murder was planned in Riyadh. He demanded the culprits be punished no matter how senior.

This report contains material from Bloomberg News.

© Copyright 2019 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
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Saudi Arabia's prosecutor has determined the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul premeditated, contradicting earlier contentions that the journalist was killed by accident.
turkey, khashoggi, killing, premeditated
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2018-09-25
Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:09 AM
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