Codepink demonstrators hold photographs of journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Khashoggi Was Strangled Upon Entering Consulate, Turkey Says

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled to death as soon as he entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul in a premeditated murder, the city’s chief prosecutor said in a statement likely to keep tensions between Ankara and Riyadh elevated.

Khashoggi’s body was then dismembered and destroyed in yet another sign his killing was planned in advance, the prosecutor’s office said.

Khashoggi Was Strangled Upon Entering Consulate, Turkey Says

Since the Washington Post columnist vanished earlier this month, Turkish officials have strategically leaked key developments in the case to control the narrative. In recent days they had gone quiet. On Wednesday, unidentified state sources again began dominating news coverage of the murder, saying a Saudi prosecutor who had flown to Turkey to work on the case was unhelpful. The Istanbul prosecutor’s office disclosed the new details in a statement issued soon after the Saudi official, Saud al-Mojeb, flew home after a three-day visit.

“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,” the Turkish prosecutor’s office said.

Al-Mojeb wouldn’t answer some of the key questions Turkey asked, the statement said, including: Where is Khashoggi’s body? Who was the alleged local collaborator that the Saudis say took part? What do the Saudis know about who planned the murder?

The Saudi prosecutor, who visited the consulate and met with Turkish officials, also reiterated his country’s rejection of Turkey’s demand to extradite Saudi nationals involved in the murder, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

The killing of Khashoggi, a former Saudi court insider, has also focused international attention on the policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The prince in 2015 ordered a military intervention in Yemen’s war and has led an unprecedented political and economic embargo against neighboring Qatar and engaged in diplomatic confrontations with Germany and Canada.

In a sign of the pressure on the Saudi leadership to change course, top U.S. officials on Wednesday demanded peace talks within a month to end the Yemen conflict.

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