Turkey calls for Khashoggi probe to be completed as ‘soon as possible’

Khashoggi vanished after entering the Saudi consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee (AFP pic)

ISTANBUL: Turkey on Monday called for the investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to be completed “as soon as possible”, after state media reported Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor met with the head of the Turkish probe.

“We naturally see an advantage in our prosecutors sharing information and working together,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a press conference in Istanbul.

“The cooperation must continue, but it must not be drawn out or turn into a diversion. The investigation must be completed as soon as possible, so that the whole truth is revealed,” he added.

His comments came after Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb met with Istanbul chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan in the Turkish city’s main Caglayan court for around 75 minutes, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Mojeb, who last week acknowledged that the killing was “premeditated” based on Turkish evidence, arrived in Istanbul early Monday and is expected to inspect the Saudi consulate where Khashoggi was killed.

The case has brought near unprecedented international scrutiny on Saudi Arabia, which is seeking to draw a line under the crisis after offering a series of differing narratives in the weeks following Khashoggi’s murder.

The 59-year-old Washington Post contributor, who had criticised Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, vanished after entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that a 15-person team came from Riyadh to kill Khashoggi.

Gruesome reports in the Turkish media have alleged that Khashoggi’s body, which has still not been found, was cut up into multiple pieces.

Saudi authorities have arrested 18 men over the murder and Erdogan has requested they be extradited for trial in Turkey.

Riyadh has rejected the request.

Asked about the body’s location, Cavusoglu said that “as those who committed the murder are in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has a very large responsibility”.

The killing has tainted the image of Prince Mohammed, who has positioned himself as a Saudi reformer, and tested ties between Washington and Riyadh as Western powers demand answers over Khashoggi’s death.

The crown prince has denounced the murder as “repulsive” and denied any involvement.