Saudi Arabia's prosecutor meets Istanbul's in Khashoggi case
Iran Press TV
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:30AM
Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor has traveled to the Turkish city of Istanbul and met with the city's Chief Public Prosecutor Irfan Fidan for deliberations on the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabian agents inside Riyadh's consulate there.
Saudi Attorney General Saud al-Mujeb met with Fidan at the courthouse in Istanbul on Monday, according to Turkey's state Anadolu news agency, which provided no more details.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and then disappeared. Turkish officials soon said they were in possession of evidence that showed he had been tortured, dismembered, and killed inside the mission.
For 18 days, Saudi Arabia denied that Khashoggi had been killed. Then, and under mounting international attention to the case, Riyadh said that a "brawl" at the consulate had "aggravated to lead to his death."
Almost the entire world has rejected that narrative. And there are strong indications that top Saudi leadership – Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in particular – has been involved in the killing.
Turkey has said, more than once, that Saudi Arabia must reveal who ordered Khashoggi's killing, indicating that Ankara may have evidence of involvement at some levels of Saudi leadership.
Earlier, Turkey pressured Saudi Arabia to allow inspections of both the consulate and the consul general's residence in Istanbul, and Turkish forensic officials did gain access to both sites – although after delays – and collected even more evidence.
When it changed its narrative about Khashoggi's fate, Riyadh also attempted to project an image of cooperation, saying it had launched an investigation, charged 18 suspects in the case, and would jointly work with Turkey.
On October 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that those 18 suspects be extradited to Turkey for trial.
Four days later, Saudi Arabia rejected Erdogan's demand.
Still, Turkey has been releasing reportedly incriminating information in the case in a phased manner. It has now shared what Ankara says is an audio recording of the last moments of Khashoggi's life with some media outlets as well as with CIA Director Gina Haspel.
While US officials have been generally supportive of Saudi Arabia, The New York Times reported on October 17 that US intelligence officials "are increasingly convinced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is culpable in the killing of" Khashoggi.
At least one frequent companion of bin Salman's as well as members of his security detail have been implicated in the case.
"Officials have also said the prince's complete control over the security services makes it highly unlikely that an operation would have been undertaken without his knowledge," the Times reported.
Ilnur Cevik, an adviser to President Erdogan, has called Khashoggi's murder "a disgrace that reaches all the way to Crown Prince [Mohammed bin] Salman," whom he called "a questionable person with Khashoggi's blood on his hands."
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