Jamal Khashoggi was strangled, body dismembered, Turkish prosecutor says

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled to death and his body dismembered soon after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, the Turkish prosecutor’s office said Wednesday.

Khashoggi’s body parts were disposed of after being dismembered, the office said in a report obtained by Turkey’s Anadolu news agency. The report appears to confirm media reports that have been coming out of Turkey since Khashoggi’s death.

“The body of Khashoggi has been dismembered after being killed in the Saudi Consulate,” the office said in a statement.

Saudi officials provided no information on any “local collaborator” involved in the killing of Khashoggi, the statement added. Media outlets have quoted a Saudi official as saying the body had been given to someone for disposal.

Saudi prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb arrived in Istanbul Sunday for talks Monday and Tuesday with Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, Irfan Fidan, Turkish media reported. Mojeb toured the consulate Tuesday.

Khashoggi disappeared in early October after entering the consulate to obtain documents in preparation for his marriage. Video footage showed Khashoggi entering, but no video ever showed him leaving.

For weeks Saudi Arabia denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, saying he had left the consulate shortly after entering.

The disappearance and subsequent reports that Khashoggi had been tortured and killed drew international outrage. The Saudis ultimately gave some ground, saying Khashoggi died after a fight that broke out during his interrogation. The regime said 18 people had been arrested in the incident. The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office said it had requested the extradition of the suspects held by Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a Saudi and contributor for the Washington Post, had drawn the ire of his government for repeated criticisms of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s defacto leader, of King Salman, and of Saudi involvement in the war in Yemen.

The prince last week called the killing a “heinous” crime and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

President Donald Trump has taken the Saudis to task for the “total fiasco” and their lack of transparency. But he also expressed support for the kingdom’s ruling family. And he has rejected calls to cancel a $110 billion arms deal, saying such a move would only hurt the United States while aiding Russia and China.

Khashoggi’s son, Salah, left Saudi Arabia last week after the Saudis revoked his travel ban. Saudi Arabia had banned him from leaving the country several months ago amid his father’s criticism of the Crown Prince.

The Saudi decision to let the younger Khashoggi leave came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Riyadh where he “made it clear” that Washington wanted him free to leave the kingdom, U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said.

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© 2018 USA Today

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