Jamal Khashoggi was strangled to death, then dismembered, as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate, Turkey’s public prosecutor said Wednesday.
The statement, by prosecutor Irfan Fidan, represented the most comprehensive official account to date of what happened to the dissident journalist at the consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
It also, unsurprisingly, contrasts with the shifting Saudi narrative, which has moved from denying any knowledge of the journalist’s fate, to claiming he was killed during a fistfight amid an unauthorized rendition effort, to acknowledging that the murder appears to have been premeditated.
Throughout the saga, Turkey has been drip-feeding details in an effort to apply pressure on the kingdom. But the latest statement indicates such efforts are no longer working.
Fidan released the new details only after the departure of the Saudi chief prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb. The Turkish prosecutor expressed frustration with the progress of the ostensibly joint Turkish-Saudi investigation into the death, in which the Saudis have stonewalled Turkish requests for answers.
“Despite our well-intentioned efforts to reveal the truth, no concrete results have come out of those meetings,” said Fidan. This was despite Saudi officials having promised to provide “same-day” answers, according to the statement.
Turkish officials say the Saudi prosecutor did not divulge to his counterpart any details about the location of Khashoggi’s remains, the identity of the supposed local collaborator who disposed of them, or anything further about the plot.
The Saudis have also rebuffed repeated Turkish requests for the extradition of 18 suspects held by Riyadh whom it accuses of being behind the plot. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir had said the suspects will be prosecuted in the kingdom.
An anonymous Turkish official told the Washington Post that the Saudi representatives that had traveled to Istanbul for the farcical joint investigation “seemed primarily interested in finding out what evidence the Turkish authorities had against the perpetrators.”
“We did not get the impression that they were keen on genuinely cooperating with the investigation,” the official said.
Cover image: A CCTV image reportedly showing Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi embassy on Oct. 2.