Turkey says Saudi Arabia’s explanation of Jamal Khashoggi murder ‘insufficient’
- First Saudi acknowledgement of the manner of killing, as it seeks death penalty for five officials
- Prosecutor says whereabouts of body parts still unknown
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.”