The office of Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor on Thursday said the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month was premeditated, reported the Saudi Press Agency. New information shared by Turkey indicated that the murder was planned, said the prosecutor.
Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the Saudi regime, had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017. He was last seen entering the consulate on October 2. Saudi Arabia had earlier claimed to have no information about Khashoggi’s disappearance, but later admitted he was killed. The country is under mounting international pressure, with several nations accusing it of a cover-up. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said that Khashoggi’s killing was premeditated and a planned affair.
“Public prosecution received information from the Turkish side through the Joint Working Group between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Turkey that indicates that the suspects in that incident had committed their act with a premeditated intention,” said the statement from the prosecutor’s office.
Meanwhile, Turkey on Thursday urged Saudi Arabia to answer questions surrounding the killing, AFP reported. On Wednesday, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman had said his country was cooperating with Turkish authorities investigating the matter, and had described the murder as a “heinous crime”.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia should explain why it had earlier arrested 18 suspects in connection with the murder. “Who gave them the orders? Where is [the body]?” he asked. “You admit they did it, but why are they not saying [where]?”
Khashoggi’s body is still to be found. “His family also wants to know and pay their final tribute,” said Cavusoglu. He added that the accused should be legally tried in Turkey and that Ankara would cooperate with everyone involved in the investigation.