Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Jamal Khashoggi 'strangled as soon as he entered consulate'

According to a statement from the office of chief Istanbul prosecutor Irfan Fidan, the journalist was the victim of a premeditated killing and his body was dismembered and disposed of.

The new details surrounding the death of Mr Khashoggi, 59, were released following a meeting between Mr Fidan and Saudi counterpart Saud al Mojeb.

It is the first public confirmation by a Turkish official that The Washington Post columnist was strangled and dismembered, but Mr Fidan said no “concrete results” had come of his discussions with Mr al Mojeb regarding who ordered the killing.

The whereabouts of the remains of Mr Khashoggi – a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – also remain unknown despite “good-willed efforts” by Turkey to uncover the truth, the statement added.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Britain has to be “considered” in its response to Saudi Arabia over the journalist’s death.

“Firstly we do have a commercial relationship. There are jobs in the UK… at stake so when it comes to the issue of arms sales we have our procedures,” Mr Hunt said.

Second, he said, “we just have to be very careful about any action we take that there aren’t unintended consequences”.

Sources told Sky News that body parts belonging to the writer had been discovered in the garden of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul – located around 500 metres away from the consulate.

They said the Saudi dissident had been “cut up” and his face “disfigured”.

Saudi Arabia has so far denied the extradition of 18 suspects detained in Riyadh, but officials insist the kingdom will bring them to justice once the investigation is complete.

Foreign minister Adel al Jubeir has described the international outcry over the killing as “hysterical” – and told critics they should should wait until Riyadh has completed its investigation before ascribing blame.

Mr Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi rulers, had gone to the consulate to collect paperwork needed to marry fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who has given a barbed message to US President Donald Trump over the killing.

Speaking at a memorial in London, she said she was disappointed in the actions of the leadership in many countries, particularly in the US, and implied Mr Trump was letting money sway him.

Mr Trump has condemned the killing and said was part of the “worst cover-up in the history of cover-ups”, but has also confirmed that he will not cancel existing contracts with Saudi Arabia because it would cost US jobs.

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