Saudi admits journalist Khashoggi dismembered in consulate

Saudi admits journalist Khashoggi dismembered in consulate

Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi policy, was killed in the country's Istanbul consulate on October 2 after a struggle by a lethal injection dose and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, he told reporters in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for five people convicted of killing prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi media reported on Thursday.

A spokesman for the public prosecutor's office denied Prince Mohammed had any knowledge of the killing inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, in response to a journalist's question.

The Saudi Public Prosecution pointed out that the investigations revealed the method of the crime carried out against Khashoggi, where a physical altercation broke out, then he was injected with a large amount of drugs leading to his death.

Riyadh had offered numerous contradictory explanations for Khashoggi's disappearance before saying he was killed in a rogue operation, in a case that has sparked a global outcry, opened the kingdom to possible sanctions and tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

However, it appears al-Mojeb has stopped short of accusing al-Assiri of ordering the killing itself - further distancing the killers from the crown prince's inner circle.

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Khashoggi's killers had planned the murder on September 29, three days before the Washington Post columnist disappeared during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Al-Mojeb said in a rare press conference.

The prosecutor, Shaalan al-Shaalan, also said that the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body remained unknown.

The deputy chief of Saudi Arabia's intelligence, General Ahmed al-Assiri, gave the order to repatriate Khashoggi - and "the head of the negotiating team" that flew to the Istanbul consulate had ordered his murder, the spokesman said.

He added that there are 21 people now in custody, with 11 indicted and referred to trial.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also said he believes "the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government".

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