A Saudi royal adviser and a senior intelligence official played key roles in the mission that ultimately led to the killing of government critic Jamal Khashoggi and authorities will seek the death penalty for five people who confessed to the murder.
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policy, was killed in the country's Istanbul consulate on October 2, after a struggle, by a lethal injection dose and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, deputy public prosecutor and spokesman Shaalan al-Shaalan told reporters. A team was sent by the former deputy intelligence chief to retrieve the journalist and persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia. The head of the negotiation team chose to murder the victim if the negotiations failed.
Turkey has said he was murdered and his body was cut into pieces.
The journalist's body parts were then handed over to an agent outside the consulate grounds, he said, adding that the prosecutor's office possesses the presumptive image of local collaborator who received Khashoggi's dead body.
A spokesman for the prosecutor later denied that Salman had any knowledge of the killing.
The five people facing capital punishment were directly involved in "ordering and executing the crime", Saud al-Mojeb said at a news conference in Riyadh, where he also exonerated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing.More news: Liverpool vs Fulham: Silky Virgil van Dijk nutmegs for fun
It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecutor said.
The journalist died from a lethal injection after a struggle inside the Saudi consulate, and his body was dismembered and taken out of the consulate, Saudi deputy public prosecutor Shaalan al-Shaalan told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Saudi officials have repeatedly tried to distance its leadership, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from the killing.
Their cases have been referred to a court while investigations into another 10 people suspected of involvement continue. "We are waiting for a response", the prosecution said.
The minister questioned why Saudi Arabia indicted only 11 out of 18 detained suspects. Last month, Turkish officials accused another Saudi prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, of being uncooperative during a visit to Istanbul. Prince Mohammed, in his first remarks about the Khashoggi case on October 3, told Bloomberg in an interview that Khashoggi had left the premises.