After weeks of detailed leaks, the Turkish government has come out publicly with its account of what happened when Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. He was strangled very soon after he arrived and his body was then dismembered, the chief prosecutor of Istanbul said Wednesday.
By going public now with information that had been anonymously provided to Turkish and Western media outlets, Turkey is demonstrating its “frustration with the failure of the Saudis” to clear up any of the big remaining questions about Khashoggi’s death, like where the body is and if the killing was premeditated, according to the New York Times. (Saudi Arabia said only after weeks of dissembling that Khashoggi had been killed in a “fistfight” and that it would do its own investigation of the killing.)
Turkish prosecutors’ meeting with the visiting Saudi investigator could not reach “a concrete outcome,” the Istanbul prosecutor said in a statement, and thus they were compelled to publicly release more details. The Washington Post reported that the Saudi prosecutor did not tell Turkish officials “the location of Khashoggi’s body or the identity of a ‘local collaborator’ who Saudi authorities have asserted helped dispose of the journalist’s remains.”
The pattern since Khashoggi’s disappearance is that Turkish officials have either leaked or publicly released information about the dissident journalist’s death when talks with Saudi Arabia were unproductive and then closed the spigot when they were getting somewhere, thus putting Turkey’s government and its authoritarian leader in control of a massive international scandal for nearly a month.
Saudi Arabia said it has detained 18 people allegedly connected with the killing and forced the resignation of five senior officials, including two close to the country’s crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman. Saudi officials later leaked that Khashoggi had been killed in a choke hold.
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