Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled ‘as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish prosecutor has claimed.
Istanbul’s chief prosecutor said the 59-year-old Washington Post journalist’s body was then ‘cut into pieces and disposed of’.
Mr Khashoggi was murdered during a visit to the consulate to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage on October 2, but his remains are yet to be found.
After initially insisting Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed, then saying he died in a brawl, the Saudi government has admitted he was killed by a ‘rogue operation’ and arrested 18 people.
The case has brought near unprecedented international scrutiny on Saudi Arabia and its powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, whom Khashoggi had criticised in his writing.
Earlier today, Turkey cast doubt on whether Saudi Arabia was willing to ‘genuinely cooperate’ in the investigation into the murder of Khashoggi.
Riyadh sent the head of its own Khashoggi investigation, Saudi Arabia’s chief public prosecutor, to Istanbul this week to meet with his Turkish counterparts.
However a senior Turkish official said Wednesday that Saudi officials seemed ‘primarily interested in finding out what evidence Turkey had against the perpetrators’.
‘We did not get the impression that they were keen on genuinely cooperating with the investigation,’ the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Gruesome reports in the Turkish media have alleged the journalist was murdered and dismembered by a team sent from Riyadh to silence him.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged the Saudi regime to reveal the location of Khashoggi’s body and who ordered the hit.
He has also repeatedly called for the suspects to be extradited for trial in Turkey, but Riyadh has rejected the request.