Khashoggi killing was premeditated, Saudi attorney general says

Khashoggi killing was premeditated, Saudi attorney general says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Saudi Arabia last Friday to disclose who ordered Mr Khashoggi's murder, as well as the location of his body, heightening global pressure on the kingdom to come clean on the case.

"Information from the Turkish side affirms that the suspects in Khashoggi's case premeditated their crime", said a statement from the Saudi public prosecutor.

The comments came as pressure mounted on Saudi Arabia to reveal the whereabouts of Mr Khashoggi's remains and say who ordered the killing.

Saudi Arabia has changed its story a number of times when trying to explain what happened to the Washington Post columnist who disappeared during a visit to its consulate in Istanbul to pick up paperwork he needed to remarry.

He said the 18 arrested men "must know" who killed him.

After a succession of denials that Riyadh had anything to do with his disappearance, the kingdom eventually admitted that Khashoggi had died, but said it was in a fight with Saudi officials who had embarked on an unsanctioned extradition operation.

Khashoggi had been an outspoken critic of the crown prince, the country's de facto ruler.

He continued that the failure of any nation to adhere to worldwide norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed the most, falling short of taking aim at the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.


He said: "Intelligence and security institutions have evidence showing the murder was planned... pinning such a case on some security and intelligence members will not satisfy us or the worldwide community".

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel, who was in Turkey earlier this week to review evidence, briefed Trump in Washington on Thursday.

The statement from Saudi prosecutors that evidence showed Khashoggi's killing was premeditated contradicted an earlier Saudi assertion that rogue officials from the kingdom had killed Khashoggi by mistake in a brawl. "We do. Tomorrow is another day", he said. "They will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia".

Turkish authorities are investigating a well at the Saudi consul's residence where it is thought Mr Khashoggi's body was dumped after the killing.

"Unfortunately there has been this hysteria in the media about Saudi Arabia's guilt before the investigation is completed", he said, in response to questions about the killing.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan made fresh demands on Saudi Arabia to disclose the location of the journalist's body.

Al-Jubeir said critics should wait for the Saudi investigation to publish its conclusions rather than blaming the kingdom "from the get-go". All four of Khashoggi's children are now in the U.S.

On the sidelines of a Syria summit in Istanbul, the two leaders had a "relaxed exchange", the Elysee palace said, and agreed not to announce their next positions on the issue without first coordinating "at the European level".

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