Middle East

Jamal Khashoggi: Symbolic funeral services for murdered journalist

People attend a symbolic funeral prayer for Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, at the courtyard of Fatih mosque in Istanbul, 16 November 2018 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption People attend a prayer for the murdered Saudi journalist at the Fatih mosque in Istanbul

Funeral prayers have taken place in Saudi Arabia and Turkey for murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi's son Salah met mourners in Jeddah. Hundreds attended prayers in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, as well as in Istanbul, Turkey.

The body of Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, has not been found.

Saudi Arabia says an officer ordered Khashoggi's murder, not Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Turkey insists the order came from the highest levels.

The decision to hold funeral prayers in the absence of Khashoggi's body suggests that the family does not expect it to be recovered.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mourners gathered to pay their respects in the courtyard of the Fatih mosque
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption An imam recited verses from the Koran under a tent set up to protect against the rain

On Friday, mourners were invited to offer their condolences to Khashoggi's relatives at their home in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Khashoggi's son Salah welcomes mourners in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Friday

Last month Salah, a dual Saudi-US citizen, met Saudi King Salman and the crown prince in Riyadh to receive condolences along with other relatives.

He then left for Washington after a travel ban was lifted. While in the US he told broadcaster CNN that he wanted to bury his father in Medina with the rest of the family.

"We just need to make sure that he rests in peace," Salah Khashoggi said.

Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, previously told the BBC that losing him had left her in shock and that being unable to "say goodbye" made his death even more difficult to accept.

"If someone dies, you have to see them to come to terms with their death," she said, adding: "That hasn't happened here."

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi's fiancée: "We didn't say any goodbyes"

Prayer services for Khashoggi were also planned to take place in Washington, London and Paris.

It comes a day after Saudi Arabia's Deputy Public Prosecutor Shalaan bin Rajih Shalaan concluded that an intelligence officer had ordered Khashoggi's murder.

At a news conference in Riyadh on Thursday, Mr Shalaan said Khashoggi was given a lethal injection and his body was dismembered inside the consulate after his death.

The body parts were then handed over to a local "collaborator" outside the grounds, he added. A composite sketch of the collaborator has been produced and investigations are continuing to locate the remains.

Eleven people have been charged over the journalist's death and the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of them.

Mr Shalaan did not identify any of those charged with the murder.

Khashoggi, who wrote a monthly column in the Washington Post, disappeared after entering his country's consulate in Istanbul to obtain a marriage document.

Turkish officials say his murder was premeditated and carried out by a team of Saudi agents.

Saudi Arabia says he was killed as a result of a "rogue operation" and not at the orders of the crown prince.

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