The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a prominent critic of the country's government, in Istanbul will affect Saudi Arabia's relations with democratic countries, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE).
"The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul is an extraordinarily brutal crime and will undoubtedly affect Saudi Arabia's relations with all democratic countries," Mikser said in comments forwarded to the media.
According to the Estonian minister, a "thorough, transparent and independent investigation" is necessary regarding the circumstances of Khashoggi's death and "all culprits must be determined and prosecuted, regardless of their position within the society or the power hierarchy of the kingdom."
He added that EU countries demanded an independent and transparent investigation in a joint statement issued on 19 October already.
"Future steps will definitely be discussed once the circumstances of Khashoggi's killing are determined," Mikser said. "As the explanations of the authorities of Saudi Arabia regarding Khashoggi's fate have changed constantly since the journalist's disappearance, their current version of the events must be regarded critically. Hopefully the publication of the conclusions of the investigation being carried out by Turkish authorities will issue to the global public a clear and unadorned picture of what the circumstances were regarding Khashoggi's killing and under whose knowledge and orders this murder was committed."
Khashoggi, a columnist for the US' Washington Post and a prominent critic of the Saudi government, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. Saudi authorities finally stated on Saturday that Khashoggi was killed in a fight that broke out in the consulate. It is suspected that Saudi officials murdered and dismembered Khashoggi in the consulate and transported his body elsewhere.
Editor: Aili Vahtla