Turkish evidence shows Khashoggi killing was planned, Saudi Arabia says

On Thursday, conflicting reports surfaced about whether investigators had searched a well in the garden of Saudi Arabia's consulate as part of their probe.

Saudi prosecutors say the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned, state-run media reported Thursday, reflecting yet another change in the shifting Saudi Arabian account of what happened to the writer who was killed by Saudi officials in their Istanbul consulate.

The Saudi disclosure came after Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel heard an audio recording of the killing during a fact-finding visit to Turkey this week.

The death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has sparked global outrage and mushroomed into a crisis for the world's top oil exporter and strategic ally of the West.

The kingdom has faced intensifying global pressure to be transparent about the death of Khashoggi. The son, a dual U.S. -Saudi citizen who was photographed receiving condolences from Salman and Mohammed on Tuesday, had previously been restricted from leaving.

"Crown Jewel", which will now officially take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is set to stream live on WWE Network Friday, Nov. 2 starting at noon ET. "The criminal investigation continues in Turkey".


Turkey is pushing the Saudi government to reveal exactly who ordered the killing, fueling suspicions that Prince Mohammed was involved even though he condemned it as "heinous" at the Riyadh forum. He had been planning to settle in Istanbul and marry his Turkish fiancee when he was detained and killed in the Saudi Consulate.

Earlier in the call during prepared remarks, WWE co-president George Barrios briefly referred to their call to stay the course in Saudi Arabia as a "difficult decision".

Through a steady stream of leaks to Turkish and foreign media, Turkish officials have mounted a compelling case that the Saudi agents planned to kill Khashoggi, dismember him and dispose of his remains.

The people outside the consulate, some of whom had traveled from other countries for the vigil, lit candles in front of posters of Khashoggi. The State Department has already announced that it will revoke visas of 21 Saudis suspected to be connected to Khashoggi's death.

It was not immediately clear how Thursday's announcement from Riyadh would affect Washington's thinking amid bipartisan demands from Congress for severe punishment of Saudi Arabia - the nation at the center of Trump's Middle East policy.

  • Tracy Klein