A team of Saudi and Turkish investigators said the people who killed Jamal Khashoggi likely planned the murder in advance. The top government lawyer in Saudi Arabia, Saud al-Mojeb, said in a statement that the team used information from Turkish officials to conclude that the killing had been planned.
Al-Mojeb did not say whether Saudi investigators had reached the same conclusion. However, al-Mojeb’s statement seemed to support earlier claims from Turkish officials.
The statement is another change in Saudi Arabia’s story about what happened to Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi was killed on October 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
After Khashoggi first disappeared, Saudi Arabian officials claimed he had simply walked out of the consulate. Later, Saudi officials said he had been accidentally killed during a “fistfight.”
Governments around the world, however, did not believe those claims. International leaders and groups continue to call on the Saudi government to be truthful about what happened to Khashoggi.
Turkish officials especially are pushing the Saudi government to identify who ordered the killing. They increased pressure by releasing information and pictures from security cameras. Turkey’s actions are making some wonder whether Prince Mohammed was involved in the killing, even though he publicly denounced it at an international meeting on Wednesday.
Turkey has continued to demand more answers from Saudi Arabia. The two countries are competitors in the region and also have economic ties.
Mevlut Cavusoglu is Turkey’s foreign minister. He told reporters Thursday that he wanted to know where Khashoggi’s body is.
“There is a crime here, but there is also a humanitarian situation,” Cavusoglu said. “The family wants to know and they want to perform their last duty.” In other words, the family hopes to bury Khashoggi’s body.
Turkish media have published conflicting reports about whether investigators had permission to search the garden in the Saudi Consulate. Some have wondered if the body was put in a well there.
Turkish officials also told the Associated Press that investigators were looking for Khashoggi’s remains in a nearby forest and in a city about two hours away from Istanbul.
I’m Caty Weaver.