Saudi prosecutor says journalist's killing was premeditated

Prosecutor says killers had planned Jamal Khashoggi's death, refuting claims that he died during a brawl gone wrong.

Tzvi Lev,

Saudi King and Crown Prince meet Khashoggi family
Saudi King and Crown Prince meet Khashoggi family

Saudi Arabi's Al-Ekhbariya television station reports that a joint Saudi-Turkish task force found that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death was premeditated, refuting earlier claims that he died during a brawl gone wrong.

Khashoggi has been missing since October 2, when he was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Turkish government has accused Saudi Arabia of murdering the dissident journalist and chopping his body into pieces.

Saudi Arabia admitted for the first time on Friday that Khashoggi was killed after entering the consulate in Istanbul, after previously denying Turkish claims that he was murdered. Saudi Arabia contended, however, that Khashoggi was murdered at the consulate earlier this month after a brawl broke out.

According to Saudi Arabia's state-owned media, the meeting "did not go as required and developed in a negative way, leading to a fight and a quarrel".

"The brawl aggravated to lead to his death and their attempt to conceal and cover what happened".

Deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri was reportedly fired over the incident, along with a senior aide to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Another 18 men involved were arrested over their role in the affair.

Khashoggi was a fierce critic of the Crown Prince, who denied in a conversation with US President Donald Trump that he was responsible for Khashoggi’s death.