Jamal Khashoggi was strangled to death as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul—and his body was then chopped to pieces and disposed of, according to the first official account of his murder.
The brutal description of the journalist’s killing—which shocked the world and plunged Saudi Arabia into diplomatic crisis—comes from Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, Irfan Fidan. It further undermines dubious Saudi claims that Khashoggi was killed accidentally in a fistfight. Fidan’s account paints a picture of a cold, premeditated killing.
“In accordance with plans made in advance, the victim Jamal Khashoggi, was choked to death immediately after entering the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2, 2018,” the prosecutor’s statement said, according to CNN.
“The victim’s body was dismembered and destroyed following his death by suffocation,” it adds.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate on October 2 to collect paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancee. The murder has provoked universal condemnation of Saudi Arabia, with some accusing Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of ordering it. A member of MBS’s entourage is known to have been at the consulate on the day of the killing.
Fidan’s statement made clear, despite promises of cooperation from King Salman, that Saudi Arabia has provided little assistance to the investigation from Turkey’s point of view. Fidan said that discussions this week with his Saudi counterpart, Saud al-Mojeb, had yielded “no concrete result” for Turkey’s outstanding demands about the killing.
Turkey has demanded the extradition of 18 Saudi suspects detained in Saudi Arabia over the murder. It is also insisting Saudi Arabia gives information concerning the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s remains, which still haven’t been found, as well as who ordered the journalist’s slaying.
Fidan’s statement came after Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, left Turkey following meetings with Turkish investigators.