Saudi prosecutors have called the killing of Jamal Khashoggi “premeditated” for the first time, the latest change in Saudi Arabia’s account of what happened to the journalist. The announcement comes two days after Turkey’s president also made the claim.
The Washington Post columnist’s killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 was carried out with “prior intention,” Saudi Attorney General Saud al-Mojeb said Thursday, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
Prosecutors reached that conclusion based on information Saudi Arabia received from Turkey as part of the countries’ joint investigation into Khashoggi’s death, according to the statement from the attorney general.
Since Khashoggi was not seen again after entering the consulate earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s version of events has shifted several times, and Saudi officials have come under increasing pressure to account for what happened to him.
Saudi Arabia first said Khashoggi had left the consulate but later admitted that he died there during a “fistfight.” Eighteen Saudi nationals were detained as part of the kingdom’s investigation into the incident.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the murder “savage” and said it was pre-planned.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday spoke publicly about Khashoggi’s death for the first time, calling it “an ugly incident that cannot be justified,” but stopping short of saying whether it was premeditated.