Khashoggi strangled, ‘cut into pieces’ in consulate: Turkish prosecutor

The Turkish president says a 15-person team travelled from Riyadh to kill Khashoggi, who had criticized Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, after he entered the Saudi consulate on October 2.

Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist, was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and his body was "dismembered and destroyed", a Turkish prosecutor said Wednesday.

Cengiz said Khashoggi was apprehensive about going to the consulate because he feared he might be detained given his prior criticism of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, arrived at Istanbul's main courthouse Tuesday for more talks with Istanbul's chief public prosecutor, Irfan Fidan, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Turkey says a trial in Turkey would be transparent, reflecting concerns about Saudi attempts to dodge responsibility for the killing.

"The responsibility of Saudi Arabia is very large here", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference Monday, adding that Khashoggi's remains have not been found.

Saudi Arabia has not commented directly on the prosecutor's visit and al-Mojeb did not respond to journalists' questions at the airport as he departed. Jamal Khashoggi went missing on October 2.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday demanded that Saudi Arabia reveal the location of Khashoggi's body and hand over 18 suspects. Riyadh says it has arrested 18 suspects, including a team sent to Istanbul hours before Khashoggi's death, but has rejected Turkey's call for their extradition.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Sunday that Al Jubeir assured him that Riyadh would conduct a "full" investigation, adding he was confident the probe would include Turkey's findings.

During the visit, he met high-ranking Turkish officials and inspected the Saudi consulate premises.

France said Wednesday that "not enough" was being done to find those responsible for the murder of the Saudi journalist, who was an insider in royal circles before going into self-imposed exile in the United States previous year. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., staunch supporters of the United States military relationship with Saudi Arabia, joined Saudi critics Todd Young, R-Ind., Rand Paul, R-Ky. and Dean Heller, R-Nev., in the ultimatum, indicating Riyadh's rapid loss of support on Capitol Hill in the wake of Khashoggi's grisly murder.

"We therefore request that you suspend any related negotiations for a U.S. -Saudi civil nuclear agreement for the foreseeable future", said the lawmakers, who included senators Cory Gardner, Rand Paul, Dean Heller and Todd Young.


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