Saudi, Turkish Investigators Say Khashoggi Killing Was Planned

Saudi, Turkish Investigators Say Khashoggi Killing Was Planned

Saudi state media released pictures taken of Salah meeting and shaking hands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdelaziz.

Meanwhile, world leaders continue to urge the Saudi authorities to clarify the circumstances of the journalist's killing. It's the latest change in the narrative over Khashoggi's death-reversing an earlier Saudi statement that Khashoggi died after a "fistfight" inside the consulate. The evidence of Turkish investigators "indicates that the suspects in the incident had committed their act with a premeditated intention", the Saudi government statement said.

Saudi Arabia has detained 18 people and dismissed five senior government officials as part of the investigation into Khashoggi's murder.

During the vigil, a friend of Khashoggi and advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Yasin Aktay, said that "no one can sweep this affair under the rug".

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and vocal critic of the crown prince, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Also Thursday, the European Union issued a fresh condemnation of Khashoggi's killing and reiterated its skepticism that it could have been carried out without Mohammed's knowledge.

US President Donald Trump has derided the killing as "one of the worst cover-ups" in history.

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Mr. Trump, while he has threatened severe consequences for those responsible for Khashoggi's death, has expressed a reluctance to halt arms sales with the Saudis, emphasizing the economic importance of those transactions to the United States' economy.

Initially Saudi officials claimed Khashoggi had left the diplomatic mission unharmed; however, under Turkish pressure joined by the questions from the global community, it was forced to confess that he had been killed in a premeditated murder.

Pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, citing the audio, has said his torturers cut off his fingers during an interrogation and later beheaded him.

The report said King Salman and Prince Mohammed offered their condolences to the family of the Saudi journalist. "Where is it?" Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference with his Palestinian counterpart.

Human Rights Watch confirmed yesterday that the murdered journalist's son, Salah, and his family had finally left Saudi Arabia after months spent under a travel ban imposed because of his father's criticism of the country's leadership. He told reporters on Thursday that he wanted to know where Khashoggi's body is. The Turks have identified a Saudi forensics specialist who is an expert in mobile autopsies and who had traveled to Istanbul the day Khashoggi was planning to visit the consulate.

After Khashoggi first disappeared, Saudi Arabian officials claimed Khashoggi had simply walked out of the consulate.

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