Saudi FM rejects international probe into Khashoggi death

Saudi FM rejects international probe into Khashoggi death

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Thursday dismissed Turkey’s demand for an international inquiry into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Riyadh has its own “investigative body” and would “reject” an independent investigation into the killing of Khashoggi, who had been “heavily drugged” before being dismembered, Minister Adel al-Jubeir said.

“This is now a legal case and is thus in the hands of Saudi Arabia’s judiciary,” Jubeir told reporters in Riyadh.

Turkish officials have cast doubt on whether Saudi Arabia was willing to genuinely cooperate with authorities on the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday called for the international investigation into the October 2 killing of Khashoggi.

“In the beginning we said we formed a working group with Saudi Arabia and that we had no plans to take the (murder) to international court,” Cavusoglu told parliament.

But he added that was not the case any more and the government now believed “an international investigation is a must”.

“We will do whatever is needed to shed light on all its aspects of this murder,” Cavusoglu said.

Saudi Arabia on Thursday made its first official admission that Khashoggi had been dismembered inside its Istanbul consulate, and said it was seeking the death penalty against five people accused of the murder.

But Jubeir said Prince Mohammed, the powerful 33-year-old heir to the throne, had “absolutely” nothing to do with the killing.