Saudi prosecutor reveals who gave order for Khashoggi’s murder

Khashoggi's killers face public execution

Five Saudi officials face the death penalty over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was drugged and dismembered inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, Riyadh's public prosecutor said Thursday.

The case sparked global outcry, opened the kingdom to possible worldwide sanctions and tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Investigations showed that the decision to form the team was made by the former Deputy President of the General Intelligence Presidency, and that the person who ordered the killing of the Saudi citizen and journalist on October 2, in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, was the leader of this negotiating team.

Saud al-Mojeb told a news conference that Mr Khashoggi's killers had set in motion plans for the murder on 29 September, three days before he was killed inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denials and under growing global pressure, Saudi Arabia finally admitted that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate in a premeditated murder.

The body was dismembered and then handed over to a local collaborator, the official added, without giving the location of the body.

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Saudi prosecutors said al-Assiri deemed Khashoggi a threat because of his work as a writer and he was allegedly backed by groups and countries that are hostile to Saudi Arabia.

The investigation concluded that the incident resulted in murder.

After first insisting Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed, Saudi authorities said he was killed in an argument that degenerated into a brawl before finally accepting what Turkey had said virtually from the start - that he was killed in a premeditated hit.

Critics of Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman and Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, believe it is highly unlikely he would not have been aware of the operation.

"We are waiting for a response from Turkey for our request to receive evidence and audio recordings related to the case", he said.

The journalist went into self-imposed exile in the United States in 2017 after falling out with Prince Mohammed.

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