Istanbul prosecutor says Khashoggi was strangled

London/Paris, Oct 31 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 10/31/2018 12:55:02 PM IST

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered Turkey’s consulate before his body was dismembered and disposed of, a Turkish prosecutor has said, The Independent reported.

Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, Irfan Fidan, also said the killing of the dissident writer was planned and that he had asked Saudi prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb to reveal the location of the body.

It comes after Mr Firdan carried out inspections at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Mr Khashoggi was killed earlier this month, and held meetings with Turkey’s public prosecutor and Turkish intelligence officials.

His statement said discussions with Mr al-Mojeb had yielded no “concrete results” despite “good-willed efforts” by Turkey to uncover the truth.

Private DHA news agency said Mr al-Mojeb paid a midnight visit to the Turkish intelligence agency’s Istanbul headquarters, although officials were not immediately available to comment. 

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 Saudi suspects detained in Saudi Arabia over Mr Khashoggi’s killing on October 2.

It has also been pressing Saudi Arabia for information concerning the journalist’s remains, which have still not been found, as well as details on who ordered the journalist’s slaying.

Saudi officials have said the kingdom will try the 18 and bring them to justice after the investigation is complete.

France casts doubt on Saudi Khashoggi probe

France’s foreign minister cast doubt on Saudi Arabia’s investigation into the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday, saying “not enough” was being done to find those responsible for his murder, AFP reported.

The comments appear to signal France upping the pressure on Saudi authorities, having so far declined to openly criticise the Riyadh regime over a death that has badly strained relations between the Middle East kingdom and the West.

“This crime has to be punished and the perpetrators identified. The truth needs to come out. And today, even though Saudi authorities have admitted that there was a murder, it’s not enough. The truth has not been revealed,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL.

“The investigations need to continue. We will continue to be demanding.” He added that “depending on the results that will be announced (of the Turkish and Saudi investigations), we will implement the necessary sanctions against those guilty”.

“We don’t rule out anything on the sanctions, in coordination with our European partners,” he said.

Saudi Arabia’s chief public prosecutor is in Istanbul - where Khashoggi was killed on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate - to meet with Turkish authorities as part of his country’s investigation.

The case has brought near unprecedented international scrutiny of Saudi Arabia and its powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi had criticised.

But Turkish officials have told local media that the Saudi prosecutor has refused to share information and appears “primarily interested in finding out what evidence the Turkish authorities had against the perpetrators”.

France, like fellow European nation Britain, has so far condemned the death of Khashoggi but has trod carefully, wary of upsetting an ally in the Middle East that is an important economic and security partner.

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