Khashoggi, 59, an experienced journalist and columnist for the Washington Post, was killed in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a team of agents who, according to Turkish and Saudi prosecutors, were deployed to Turkey by senior Saudi officials. After Khashoggi was strangled, his body was dismembered and his remains have yet to be recovered, Turkish officials said.
Before his death, Khashoggi, who wrote in The Post, criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia̵
The murder highlighted the extraordinary crackdown on dissent carried out by Saudi authorities led by Mohammed and the poor relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government released details of the Saudi conspiracy for the first time and continued to accuse the Saudi leadership of protecting high-ranking officials from being blamed.
The CIA concluded that Mohammed had probably ordered the killing to be committed by the Crown Prince.
The Turkish charge was the latest sign that Erdogan’s government would continue to highlight Khashoggi’s case. Two senior Saudi officials, Saud al-Qahtani, a close adviser to Mohammed, and Ahmed al-Assiri, a former deputy chief of Saudi intelligence, have been accused of “instigating premeditated murder with monstrous intentions”.
The two men “gave the other suspects the necessary instructions to complete the killing operation,” Khashoggi said.
Both men were freed from any wrongdoing by Saudi prosecutors at the end of last year. Five other unidentified men were sentenced to death in the process, which human rights lawyers criticized for lack of transparency.
In addition to Assiri and Qahtani, the Istanbul prosecutors accused 18 other men of murder after the investigators gathered evidence from surveillance videos, phone logs, and Khashoggi’s laptop and cell phones.