Washington Post columnist and Saudi defector Jamal Khashoggi was strangled immediately after entering Istanbul’s Saudi consulate, according to the statement released by Turkey’s chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan.
The Guardian reported that Khashoggi, contrary to Saudi claims about the journalist having been murdered after a confrontation with the Middle Eastern country’s agents, was actually murdered immediately after entering the embassy. He was reportedly strangled before his body was dismembered and disposed of in a premeditated killing.
The claim comes after Fidan received access to the Saudi consulate and all the evidence in Turkish possession. He also met with his Saudi counterpart, Saud Al Mojeb, last week in order to hear the Saudi side of the story. He reportedly asked Al Mojeb to share details of where Khashoggi’s body had been disposed, but the Saudis didn’t respond. After that meeting, Fidan said that despite Turkey’s “good-willed efforts,” the meeting had not given way to any “concrete results.”
Khashoggi went missing earlier this month when he went to collect some paperwork for his wedding from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Later Turkish media outlets claimed that he had been killed and mutilated by Saudi agents, a claim initially contested by Saudi Arabia. However, in the wake of increasing international pressure, the Middle Eastern nation changed its narrative and admitted to the killing, although it still maintains that the de facto head of the country, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had no inkling of the so-called plan.
But now the claims made by Turkey’s chief prosecutor, backed by evidence that Turkey is not keen to share with Saudi Arabia but has reportedly already shared with U.S. intelligence agencies, including with CIA Director Gina Haspel, will increase pressure on the Middle Eastern nation already infamous for silencing its dissidents in undemocratic — and often brutal — ways.
This revelation seems to be in line with news reports last week that members of the Saudi death squad allegedly responsible for murdering Khashoggi celebrated the success of their mission in a taxi. As the Inquisitr reported, the driver of the taxi told Turkish news outlets that the Saudi agents were “very cheerful. They smoked and drank alcohol in the car after killing the journalist.”
The murder and the subsequent fallout has resulted in the straining of the relationships between Western nations and Saudi Arabia. The desert country, which has made a pitch to transform into a modern industrialized economy under the leadership of 33-year-old crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been left scrambling for a defense in the wake of the killing, but so far has been unable to provide a coherent narrative or reason for Khashoggi’s death.