A man walks past Saudi Arabia’s consul general’s official residence in Istanbul, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Changing story again, Saudi Arabia says killing was planned

“Jamal Khashoggi’s body still hasn’t been found. Where is it?” Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said

Saudi prosecutors say the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned, state-run media reported Thursday, reflecting yet another change in the shifting Saudi Arabian account of what happened to the writer who was killed by Saudi officials in their Istanbul consulate.

Saudi Attorney General Saud al-Mojeb said investigators concluded that Khashoggi’s killing was a premeditated crime after reviewing evidence presented by Turkish officials as part of a joint investigation, according to a statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

Saudi Arabia initially insisted Khashoggi had walked out of the consulate after visiting the building on Oct. 2. It later dropped that account for a new one, saying it had detained 18 people for what it said was an accidental killing during a “fistfight.”

RELATED: Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate

Many countries responded to the version of a brawl involving Khashoggi with skepticism and demands for transparency. Turkey has been turning up the pressure on Saudi Arabia, a regional rival, to reveal more about the crime.

The seemingly clumsy coverup of the killing has been exposed to the world with Turkish leaks of information, security camera footage and, eventually, Saudi acknowledgements that Khashoggi died in the consulate. Key mysteries yet to be explained are suspicions that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince ordered the killing — even though he publicly condemned it — and the whereabouts of the Washington Post columnist’s body.

“Jamal Khashoggi’s body still hasn’t been found. Where is it?” Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said Thursday at a news conference with his Palestinian counterpart.

RELATED: TRUMP – Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

“There is a crime here, but there is also a humanitarian situation. The family wants to know and they want to perform their last duty,” Cavusoglu said, referring to hopes for the writer’s burial.

Turkish authorities briefed visiting CIA chief Gina Haspel on the investigation into the killing and the evidence they have, a Turkish security official who was not authorized to speak to the media said on condition of anonymity. The official could not confirm whether Haspel had listened to an alleged audio recording of the killing. Pro-government media in Turkey reported officials have such a recording, but its existence has not been confirmed.

On Thursday, conflicting reports surfaced about whether investigators had searched a well in the garden of Saudi Arabia’s consulate as part of their probe.

Investigators emptied the well and are awaiting the results of an analysis of the water to determine whether body parts were dumped there, according to Yeni Safak, a pro-government Turkish newspaper. But Sabah, another pro-government newspaper that has published leaks about the case from Turkish officials, said Saudi Arabia has yet to give Turkish authorities permission for a search.

RELATED: Cancelling Saudi Arabia arms deal would cost $1 billion – Trudeau

Turkish media have also published a security camera image allegedly showing a vehicle belonging to the Saudi Consulate “scouting” a forest in the outskirts of Istanbul before Khashoggi was killed. The image, obtained by state television TRT and other media on Wednesday, shows a black car with a diplomatic license plate at an entrance to Belgrade Forest.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Saudi officials made “reconnaissance” trips to the forest as well as the city of Yalova a day before Khashoggi was killed. Turkish officials have told The Associated Press that investigators were looking into the possibility that the journalist’s remains may have been hidden at those two locations.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIU visual art show spans a Spectrum of art forms

Spectrum: Visual Art Major Grad Show continues until May 9 at the View Gallery

City of Nanaimo ‘100 per cent’ on board with privacy commissioner recommendations

Council satisfied with how private and confidential information will be handled moving forward

Leading jazz pianist to take to the stage in Nanaimo

The Jennifer Scott Trio will play the Lighthouse Bistro on Tuesday, April 23.

Senior sentenced in Nanaimo for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Nanaimo RCMP probe eight fires at Brechin Elementary School

Police say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Diary of Anne Frank turned into emotional stage production

Nanaimo Theatre Group director, actors say message relevant today

Beefs & Bouquets, April 18

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo rapper Sirreal presents variety show at the Queen’s

Performances at 420 Sharp Dressed Fam show will be filmed for live concert video

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

City wants public input on shopping bag bylaw

City launches public consultation on single-use shopping bags regulation

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Fuel supply requires pipeline expansion

As gasoline production is curtailed, consumer demand will force prices higher, says letter writer

Nanaimo joins National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis

Drug users demand national, provincial, municipal funding and policy changes to end overdoses

Bowling challenging on the lanes or the lawn

Bowling is very much on the radar this week, with action happening both on hardwood and on grass

Most Read