Turkey’s public prosecutor, Irfan Fidan on Wednesday said that journalist, Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered upon his arrival at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
According to a statement which he released on Wednesday, Fidan said Khashoggi’s suffocation and the subsequent dismembering of his body were part of ‘advance plans’ to kill the prominent Saudi journalist and dispose of his body.
Fidan’s statement appeared to mark the most conclusive official description to date of what happened to the Washington Post contributing columnist when he entered the diplomatic mission on October 2.
“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,” Fidan said in the statement.
According to an official translation of Fidan’s statement, ‘the victim’s body was dismembered and destroyed following his death by suffocation in line with advance plans.’
Turkish media reported that Saud al-Mojeb, Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor had left for Istanbul airport following two days of meetings with his Turkish counterpart and representatives of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency.
A senior Turkish official said Mojeb did not provide Fidan with the location of Khashoggi’s body or the identity of a ‘local collaborator’ who Saudi authorities had asserted helped dispose of the remains of the prominent journalist.
Mojeb’s visit came just days after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hailed the cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia in the investigation into Khashoggi’s death.
The Turkish government alleges that a 15-man hit team dispatched from Saudi Arabia killed Khashoggi inside the consulate. However, the Turkish investigators are yet to publicly release the graphic evidence which would strengthen their claims.