Khashoggi Murder: UN Expert Blasts Saudi Prince Over Defence

Turkey Widens Khashoggi Search, Quizzes Consulate Staff
In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFPj

 

A UN rights expert on Monday criticised Saudi Arabia’s crown prince for trying to create “distance” between himself and journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s execution, even as he appeared to acknowledge the Saudi state was responsible.

Agnes Callamard, a United Nations special rapporteur who conducted an investigation into Khashoggi’s murder, was reacting to an interview broadcast by US media on Sunday with Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Speaking to CBS’s 60 Minutes, Prince Mohammed denied ordering or having advanced warning of Khashoggi’s killing on October 2 last year at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but said he “took full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia”.

Callamard, whose independent probe found “credible evidence” linking the crown prince to the murder and attempted cover up, dismissed that defence as “problematic”.

“He is only taking corporate responsibility for the crime, which goes without saying,” Callamard told AFP, days ahead of the first anniversary since Khashoggi’s death.

She said the interview appeared to mark a concession by Prince Mohammed that “the killing of Mr. Khashoggi was a state killing,” and therefore a rejection of Riyadh’s previous explanation that responsibility for the brutal murder lay with rogue agents.

But Callamard condemned the prince, known by his initials MBS, for taking “no personal responsibility for the crime”.

“He is creating huge distance between himself and the crime,” by arguing that he cannot be liable for the conduct of all Saudi government employees.

Callamard told AFP that “for the last 12 months, the Saudi state, their various representatives and (MBS) included have been lying to the international community regarding the nature of the crime. So now we are supposed to take his word that, yes, he has a corporate responsibility but he has no personal responsibility?”

“Not good enough,” she said.

The CIA has also reportedly said the killing was likely ordered by Prince Mohammed.

But Saudi prosecutors have absolved the prince and said two dozen people implicated in the murder are in custody, with death penalties sought against five men.

 Justice not ‘easy’ 

Callamard has previously blamed UN “paralysis” for the failure to punish those who murdered Khashoggi — a US resident, Washington Post contributor and critic of the Saudi royal family.

She has called on Secretary General Antonio Guterres to independently launch a UN criminal probe.

The UN chief’s office has said that is impossible without a member state request.

“I have not argued that this will be easy for (Guterres) procedurally or politically to do. What I am arguing is that if he wanted, and if he received sufficient formal or informal backing, he could find the legal backing to move forward,” Callamard said.

AFP

There Is ‘Credible Evidence’ Linking Saudi Crown Prince To Khashoggi Murder – UN expert

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014 (FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

There is “credible evidence” linking Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, a report by an independent United Nations rights expert said Wednesday.

In her report, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard said she had “determined that there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi Officials individual liability, including the Crown Prince’s.”

READ ALSO: UN Calls For Independent Probe Into Morsis Death

Similarly, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres should launch an international criminal investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, an independent rights expert said Wednesday.

In a fresh report on the killing, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard urged Guterres to “initiate a follow-up criminal investigation into the killing of Mr. Khashoggi to build-up strong files on each of the alleged perpetrators and identify mechanisms for formal accountability, such as an ad hoc or hybrid tribunal.”

Khashoggi’s Family Denies Settlement With Saudi Govt

Turkey Widens Khashoggi Search, Quizzes Consulate Staff
Jamal Khashoggi/ AFP

 

The family of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi denied Wednesday being in talks to reach a settlement out of court with Saudi authorities following reports that his sons had taken payouts.

“Currently, the trial is taking place and no settlement discussion had been or is discussed,” read an English statement posted to Salah Khashoggi’s verified Twitter account.

The Washington Post on April 1 reported Khashoggi’s children, including Salah, had received multimillion-dollar homes and were being paid thousands of dollars per month by authorities.

READ ALSO: US Asks UN To Recognize Guaido As Venezuela’s Leader

Khashoggi — a contributor to the Post and a critic of the Saudi government — was killed and dismembered in October at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul by a team of 15 agents sent from Riyadh.

His body has not been recovered.

Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused of orchestrating Khashoggi’s killing, but a local investigation exonerated him.

Riyadh initially said it had no knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, later blaming rogue agents for his death.

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has charged 11 people over the murder.

 ‘Not admission of guilt’ 

Khashoggi’s son said only the family and their attorney were authorised to “claim to be a source of information”.

The statement did not openly confirm or deny possible reparations from the Saudi king or crown prince, whom the family called “guardians to all Saudis”.

“Acts of generosity and humanity come from the high moral grounds they possess, not admission of guilt or scandal,” the statement said.

According to the Post, the payments to his four children — two sons and two daughters — “are part of an effort by Saudi Arabia to reach a long-term arrangement with Khashoggi family members, aimed in part at ensuring that they continue to show restraint in their public statements”.

The Khashoggi murder has sparked international outcry and calls to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which leads a regional military campaign battling Yemeni rebels linked to Iran.

US President Donald Trump has been Riyadh’s strongest Western ally throughout the Khashoggi affair, phoning Prince Mohammed on Wednesday to discuss “bilateral relations,” Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

But Republicans and Democrats have both bristled over the White House’s apparent embrace of the kingdom and its leadership.

 Saudi in spotlight

At least seven writers and bloggers — including two US citizens — were arrested in Saudi Arabia on Friday, according to rights groups, in the first major crackdown since Khashoggi’s murder.

The arrests came the day after US lawmakers voted to end military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The text cleared the Senate last month and now heads to Trump, who is widely expected to veto the legislation.

The US State Department on Monday also barred entry to 16 Saudi nationals under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

The section in question “provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that officials of foreign governments have been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States”.

The State Department has also frozen the assets of some Saudi citizens over the Khashoggi affair.

AFP

Saudi Faces Criticism At UN Over Khashoggi Murder

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Credit: MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFPkhashoggi

 

Thirty-six nations condemned Saudi Arabia on Thursday over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a rare censure of the oil-rich kingdom at the UN Human Rights Council. 

A statement read by Iceland on behalf of a group of states expressed “significant concerns” about reported abuses in Saudi Arabia and demanded justice following Khashoggi’s killing.

“Investigations into the killing must be prompt, effective and thorough, independent and impartial, and transparent. Those responsible must be held to account,” added the statement read by Iceland’s UN ambassador Harald Aspelund.

It called on Saudi authorities “to disclose all information available” about its own investigation while cooperating with separate UN inquiries into Khashoggi’s death.

The statement was backed by EU states along with Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

READ ALSO: North Korea Rocket Site Appears ‘Operational’ Again – US Experts

Human Rights Watch said the statement was “the first-ever collective action” at the council on rights in Saudi Arabia, which had successfully evaded criticism at the UN body.

HRW’s Geneva director John Fisher called it “a landmark step toward justice” and urged “more scrutiny” of the country.

Responding to the statement, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva condemned the use of “joint statements for political causes.”

“Interference in domestic affairs under the guise of defending human rights is in fact an attack on our sovereignty,” ambassador Abdulaziz Alwasil said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Saudi Arabia initially said it had no knowledge of his fate.

It has since blamed rogue agents for Khashoggi’s death and the kingdom’s public prosecutor has charged 11 people over his murder.

The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, is conducting an inquiry into the killing.

But Callamard is an independent human rights expert who does not speak for the UN and calls have mounted for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to push for a full UN-backed probe.

AFP

Khashoggi’s Fiance Hopes Trump Will Change His Mind On Killing

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014 (FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. Saudi Arabia on Saturday, October 20, 2018, admitted that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed inside its consulate in Istanbul, state media reported.
MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

 

The Turkish fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday she hoped pressure from the US Congress would encourage the Trump administration to take a tougher stance on the killing.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was killed on October 2 by Saudi agents during a visit to his country’s consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork ahead of his wedding to Hatice Cengiz.

During a press conference in Istanbul for a book on Khashoggi’s life, Cengiz left the door open to a meeting with US President Donald Trump if certain conditions were met.

The book, titled “Jamal Khashoggi: his life, his fight, his secrets”, was written by Turkish journalists Mehmet Akif Ersoy and Sinan Onus with testimony from Cengiz.

READ ALSO: Pompeo To Press Saudi Crown Prince Over Khashoggi’s Murder

An English version will be published next week.

In the book, Cengiz shares her memories and papers detailing the life of former Saudi insider turned critic Khashoggi “who was a journalist for you, but a man for me”.

In December, Cengiz rejected an invitation from Trump.

But on Friday, she said, “a visit to the United States could take place in March”. She hoped the US leader would have a change of “attitude” and “follow the case closely”.

“I have hope, not necessarily regarding Trump, but about the fact that the new Congress will follow this case more closely,” she said, struggling with tears as she spoke.

Special UN rapporteur, Agnes Callamard, said Thursday after a visit to Turkey that Khashoggi’s killing had been “planned and perpetrated” by Saudi officials. Khashoggi had written critical pieces on the Riyadh administration in the Post.

Trump faces a Friday deadline set by Congress to determine if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of Khashoggi.

His murder was met with international outrage and considerably hurt the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is accused of having ordered the killing.

While Riyadh denies any involvement of Prince Mohammed, the crown prince has been implicated in the murder by American senators based on the CIA’s conclusions.

But the Trump administration has said there is no irrefutable evidence of Prince Mohammed’s involvement and has stressed the importance of the strategic partnership between Washington and Riyadh.

Cengiz refused to comment on the accusations against the crown prince, saying only that she awaited the completion of Turkey’s investigation.

However, she denounced the fact that Khashoggi’s remains still had not been found.

AFP

Saudi Prosecutor Seeks Death Sentences As Khashoggi Murder Trial Opens

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. PHOTO: MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

Saudi Arabia’s attorney general sought the death penalty for five of 11 defendants charged with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as their high-profile trial opened in Riyadh on Thursday.

All 11 accused were present with their lawyers at the opening hearing in the capital, according to a statement by the attorney general carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The attorney general said Saudi Arabia had twice submitted formal requests for evidence from Turkey — where Khashoggi was murdered inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate — but had received no response.

The names of the defendants have not been officially released. Five top officials in Saudi Arabia — including royal court insider Saud al-Qahtani — were sacked over the Khashoggi murder, but there is no proof that they are among those charged.

Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, was murdered on October 2 in what Riyadh called a “rogue” operation.

The 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a team of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul for the killing, according to Turkish officials.

There have been reports that his remains, which have never been found, were dissolved in acid.

– Calls for ‘credible’ probe –

The defence team on Thursday requested a copy of the indictment sheet and a timeframe within which to review the charges.

The prosecutor agreed to both requests, SPA said. No date has been set for the next hearing.

The Khashoggi murder shocked the world at a time when Saudi Arabia and its de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were pushing an aggressive public relations campaign to rebrand the ultraconservative monarchy as a modern state.

Among Prince Mohammed’s strongest allies is US President Donald Trump, who now faces increased pressure to approve measures against Saudi Arabia.

The US has sanctioned 17 Saudi citizens in connection with the Khashoggi murder. France and Canada have also sanctioned Saudi Arabian nationals.

The US Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly concluded that Prince Mohammed very likely ordered Khashoggi’s murder. A bipartisan resolution approved by the US Senate last month also holds the crown prince responsible for the killing.

But in November the Saudi attorney general ruled out any involvement by the young crown prince, whose reformist credentials abroad have been seriously tarnished by the murder.

The Khashoggi affair has also given Turkey — allied with Saudi rivals Qatar and Iran — unusual leverage in regional power plays.

Ankara has sought the extradition of the suspects in Saudi custody to stand trial in Turkey but its requests have been repeatedly rebuffed by Riyadh.

Rights groups and the United Nations have called for an independent investigation into Khashoggi’s death, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres last month calling for a “credible” probe.

“Given the possible involvement of Saudi authorities in Khashoggi’s murder and the lack of independence of Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system, the impartiality of any investigation and trial would be in question,” Samah Hadid, a Middle East director at Amnesty International, told AFP on Thursday.

“This is why a UN-led and independent investigation is needed into the murder of Khashoggi.”

AFP

Khashoggi, Other Persecuted Journalists Named Time ‘Person of the Year’

Photo combination of Jamal Khashoggi and the cover image of Time Managzine obtained December 11, 2018 courtesy of Time magazine showing one of four covers for Time magazine “Person of the Year” December 24/December 31 2018. PHOTO: Moises SAMAN / TIME Inc. / AFP

 

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in October at his country’s Istanbul consulate, was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” Tuesday, an honor he shared with other persecuted journalists dubbed as “guardians” of the truth.

Among those named with Khashoggi were Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo — currently imprisoned in Myanmar — and the staff of the Capital Gazette in the US city of Annapolis, including five members killed in a June shooting.

Time, which has awarded the “Person of the Year” title annually since 1927, published four different magazine covers for this week’s edition, each one spotlighting different honorees.

It is the first time someone has been chosen posthumously for the prestigious cover.

US President Donald Trump, the 2016 “Person of the Year,” was the bookmakers’ favorite this year but in the end was runner-up.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, investigating possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 election campaign, was ranked third.

AFP

Mattis Seeks More ‘Evidence’ On Who Ordered Khashoggi’s Killing

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014 (FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.
MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, facing criticism for refusing to connect the Saudi crown prince to the slaying of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said Wednesday he needs to see more evidence for who was behind the murder.

“If I say something, I need the evidence,” Mattis told reporters as he flew to a defence summit in Canada.

“I am quite satisfied we will find more evidence of what happened. I just don’t know what it is going to be, or who will be implicated, but we will follow it as far as we can.”

Protests As Saudi Crown Prince Visits Tunisia

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi (R) receives Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman upon his arrival at the presidential palace in Carthage on the eastern outskirts of the capital Tunis on November 27, 2018.
FETHI BELAID / AFP

 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks in Tunisia on Tuesday as hundreds of protesters rallied against his visit, urging justice over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and condemning the Yemen war.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, who flew in from Cairo, met with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi before they dined together with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

Upon receiving him, Essebsi said the Saudi royal was “not merely a guest of Tunisia, he is at home here”, stressing the importance of their countries’ ties.

The Tunisian presidency said the two men had discussed “ways to strengthen cooperation”, including boosting investment as well as security and military links.

Prince Mohammed’s stay in Tunisia is part of a regional tour, which comes as Khashoggi’s murder leads to increased scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen’s devastating war.

“Go away assassin!” protesters shouted in the second rally in Tunis in as many days against the Saudi crown prince’s visit.

Demonstrators held placards with slogans including “The people want Bin Salman to be judged”, “No to the killer of Yemeni children”, and “You’re not welcome”.

“It’s inhuman to see an Arab leader killing his brothers in Yemen, and the murder of a journalist is the icing on the cake,” said Basma Rezgui, a teacher brandishing a red-stained saw.

‘Taking a stand’

Saudi Arabia has faced intense global criticism over the killing of insider-turned-critic Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate on October 2.

He was reportedly dismembered in what Saudi Arabia said was a “rogue” operation, but CIA analysis leaked to the US media pointed the finger at Prince Mohammed.

The crown prince’s visit is the first by a Saudi royal to Tunisia since the 2011 revolution deposed longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia.

Political analyst Youssef Cherif said the protests against Prince Mohammed were a sign that post-revolution Tunisia “is one of the rare Arab countries where one can take such a stand”.

The Saudi crown prince has also held talks in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on his first foreign tour since the Khashoggi affair erupted.

In Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the “unshakable strategic alliance between Egypt and Saudi Arabia” during the visit, the state daily Al-Ahram reported Tuesday.

“The stability and security of Saudi Arabia is an integral part of Egypt’s security,” Sisi said.

Turkish Police Search Saudi’s Villa For ‘Khashoggi Remains’

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
 Jamal Khashoggi/AFP

 

Turkish police on Monday were searching the villa of a Saudi citizen in a northwestern province for the remains of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The officers began searching a two-storey building in Termal district in Yalova with the help of sniffer dogs and drones before the investigation widened to the adjacent villa, state news agency Anadolu said.

Khashoggi, a contributor for The Washington Post, was killed by Saudi officials on October 2 during a visit to the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul for paperwork before his wedding.

The first villa to be searched is owned by a Saudi man whom the Istanbul prosecutor said had spoken to one of the murder suspects on October 1.

“It is believed that what was discussed was how to destroy or hide journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s body after his dismemberment during this conversation,” the prosecutor said in a statement.

The prosecutor added this information was the reason given to search the building.

Crime scene investigators were inspecting a well in the first villa’s garden in Samanli village, Anadolu earlier said, while images showed fire trucks at the scene.

Turkish prosecutors say Khashoggi was strangled before he was dismembered.

His body has not been found and his death has triggered widespread international criticism of Riyadh. There have been reports in pro-government media that the journalist’s remains could have been dissolved in acid.

The searches on Monday came more than two weeks after Sabah daily reported that samples taken from the consulate drains showed traces of acid.

Turkish authorities say a team of 15 Saudi officials were sent to kill Khashoggi, who was 59, but Riyadh insists the assassination team conducted a rogue operation.

Anadolu said the Saudi who owned the villa in question is a businessman who was not in Turkey during multiple phone calls with the suspects.

There have been previous inspections of the Saudi consulate and the consul general’s residence in Istanbul as well as a forest in the city.

AFP

Kashoggi: Trump Admits Saudi Crown Prince Could Have Known Of Murder

This file photo taken on March 14, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman shaking hands in the State Dining Room before lunch at the White House in Washington, DC.  NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

 

President Donald Trump acknowledged Tuesday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could have known of the murder of a dissident journalist – but said there would be no fallout anyway for Saudi-US relations.

“It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event –- maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said in a statement.

“We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he said. “The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia.”

The gruesome murder of Khashoggi, who vanished after being lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, has hugely embarrassed Washington.

The killing torpedoed a powerful PR campaign led by the crown prince to show that the conservative Islamic state has embarked on a new reformist path.

It also threw into question the White House strategy to make MBS, as the royal is widely known, its main partner in the tinderbox region.

Trump has for weeks resisted accepting mounting evidence of Saudi government involvement in the Khashoggi killing – and accusations that MBS ordered the hit.

However, with The New York Times reporting that the CIA has definitively concluded that Prince Mohammed was involved, the focus turned to whether Trump would punish his Saudi partner or find a way to let it slide.

In his statement, released by the White House press office, Trump took the latter option, saying that the US-Saudi relationship was more important than the possible involvement in the crime of Prince Mohammed.

He noted that Saudi King Salman and the crown prince “vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr Khashoggi.”

Also, Saudi Arabia, he said, provides crucial help in the US struggle to contain Iranian ambitions, as well as having committed to $450 billion in US weapons contracts and other investments. In addition, the Saudis have helped in keeping oil prices low, Trump said.

“The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region,” he said.

Trump acknowledged a strong push in Congress for the United States to sanction MBS and take other action against the Saudi leadership.

“I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America,” he said.

Turkey Says Saudi Explanation Of Khashoggi Murder ‘Insufficient’

Khashoggi Killers 'Will Be Prosecuted In Saudi Arabia' - Govt
 In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. PHOTO: MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

 

Turkey on Thursday said the Saudi statement over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was “insufficient” and insisted that the killing was “premeditated.”

“We find all those steps positive but insufficient,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a televised speech.

His comments came shortly after Saudi Arabia admitted that 59-year-old Khashoggi was drugged and dismembered inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last month.

Riyadh’s public prosecutor said the journalist’s body parts were then handed over to an agent outside the consulate grounds and that five Saudi officials were facing the death penalty over the murder.

“I want to say personally that I don’t find some of the statements satisfactory,” Cavusoglu said. “This murder was premeditated.”

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen stepping into the doors of the Istanbul consulate to obtain paperwork for his marriage to a Turkish woman.

Turkey has said he was murdered and his body was cut into pieces. After denials, Riyadh admitted that the man was killed in a “rogue” operation.

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Saudi public prosecutor’s office said the deputy chief of Saudi intelligence, General Ahmed al-Assiri, had given an order to force Khashoggi home — and “the head of the negotiating team” that flew to Istanbul had ordered his murder.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the order came from “the highest levels” of the Riyadh government, but stopped short of pointing the finger of blame at the Saudi crown prince.

Cavusoglu said: “Those who gave the command as well as instigators should also be clarified and this process should not be covered up.”

He said Turkey would continue to do what was necessary “to shed light on this murder in all its aspects.”

AFP