London: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday cast doubt on Saudi Arabia’s explanation on the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey and said her country would revoke or block visas for the suspects behind the alleged premeditated slaying.
May’s comments came while she addressed lawmakers in the House of Commons, a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also discredited Riyadh’s claim that Khashoggi died in a brawl in the consulate on October 2, instead of saying it appeared to be a planned murder.
“We condemn the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the strongest possible terms,” said May, who leads a minority government.
“The claim that has been made that Khashoggi died in a fight does not amount to a credible explanation so there does remain an urgent need to establish what has happened in relation to this,” she was cited as saying by Efe news.
She said any of the individuals suspected of carrying out the killing of the former Washington Post journalist currently in possession of UK visas would immediately be stripped of their privileges.
May told lawmakers she was scheduled to speak with King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia later on Wednesday.
Riyadh has vowed to cooperate in an investigation into Khashoggi’s death and has allegedly arrested 18 people in connection with the killing.
The kingdom first denied any involvement in the disappearance, but amid mounting international pressure acknowledged that he had been killed at the consulate in a rogue operation.