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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Wellington community association hopes to save old school from demolition

Nanaimo school district staff to report on fate of South Wellington Elementary later this month

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

Nanaimo RCMP seek help locating missing indigenous youth

Family of William Baker worries he’s in company of people putting him at risk

Nanaimo man wanted on assault warrants

John Bates wanted following two separate incidents from earlier this year

Stz’uminus motivational speaker and musician named ‘emerging cultural leader’ in Nanaimo

Patrick Aleck is among the recipients of the city’s Culture and Heritage Awards

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Parcel stolen from front porch, Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect

Unidentified woman allegedly stole package containing $400 smart watch

Most Read