Khashoggi was suffocated in Saudi consulate - prosector


Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled to death as soon as he entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul in a premeditated murder, the city's chief prosecutor said in a statement likely to keep tensions between Ankara and Riyadh elevated.

Mr Khashoggi's death has escalated into a crisis for Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, which at first denied any knowledge of or role in his disappearance on 2 October.

Erdogan said 18 people arrested in Saudi Arabia for the killing should be extradited to Turkey to face trial, while Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the kingdom would try the suspects after an investigation is completed.

Khashoggi was a Saudi journalist who went into self-imposed exile in the United States past year after falling out with the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that his country would reveal more evidence about the killing but was not in any rush to do so, indicating that Turkish authorities will keep methodically increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia.

Turkey says. the Saudi journalist who was murdered in Istanbul was immediately strangled as he entered the Saudi consulate.

A statement from chief Istanbul prosecutor Irfan Fidan's office added that Mr Khashoggi's body was dismembered and disposed of.

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Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post and an outspoken critic of the Saudi royal family, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get a marriage licence while his fiancée was waiting outside.

Mr Khashoggi, a Saudi national working for the U.S. press, was a well-known critic of his home country's rulers.

Michelle Bachelet said she welcomed steps taken by the Turkish and Saudi government to probe his death, but given Saudi Arabia's apparent involvement in the slaying, "the bar must be set very high".

Saudi hit squadCleaning personnel wait to enter Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump had warned the United States, which is Saudi Arabia's biggest backer, could impose sanctions if it was proved the journalist was killed. Unnamed Saudi officials previously claimed that Khashoggi's body was wrapped up in some kind of fabric and given to a local Turkish coconspirator.

Saudi Arabia has not commented directly on the prosecutor's visit and al-Mojeb did not respond to journalists' questions at the airport as he departed.