Turkey says Saudi explanation of Khashoggi murder 'insufficient'

Riyadh has admitted that a pre-meditated plan was made to kill Khashoggi

Saudi attorney general said Thursday that death penalty is being sought against five suspects in journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder in Istanbul consulate, while 11 out of 21 suspects have been referred to the court.

Shalaan Shalaan, the deputy attorney general, said in a Riyadh news conference that 11 people out of 21 held in the case have been charged over Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

He added that Khashoggi's body was dismembered and then transferred outside the Saudi consulate building.

In a statement released Thursday, the Saudi prosecutor's office said it has asked Turkey to share evidence it has gathered, "including any audio recordings" - an apparent reference to the surveillance recordings that Turkish officials have cited as proof that Khashoggi's killing was a premeditated murder.

The dissident writer was given a lethal injection after a struggle with agents in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, a spokesman told reporters. It said the crime was carried out following a physical altercation where the victim was forcibly restrained and injected with a large amount of a drug resulting in an overdose that led to his death, May Allah bless his soul.

It added: "The remaining suspects will be investigated in order to determine their role in the crime".

A former Saudi adviser was also involved in the planning of the murder, the spokesperson said, adding that the head of the team tasked with convincing the journalist to return to the Kingdom was also the person who made the decision to murder him, the report stated. Last month, Turkish officials accused another Saudi prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, of being uncooperative during a visit to Istanbul.

They were divided into three groups, the the prosecutor said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

"We find all those steps positive but insufficient", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a televised speech".

President Tayyip Erdogan said the recordings are "appalling" and shocked a Saudi intelligence officer who listened to them.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since a year ago.

Turkey on Wednesday called for an global investigation into the murder.

Saudi Arabia's initial explanations for Khashoggi's death have met with worldwide skepticism that centers on Prince Mohammed, who has shown a drive to silence dissent as he consolidates power.

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