Turkey's Erdogan says Saudi team planned Khashoggi murder
23 October 2018
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected Saudi Arabia’s account of the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said it was a “political killing” planned in advance.
Addressing parliament on the death of the murdered journalist, Erdogan said the “savage murder” of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a premeditated, and meticulously planned, political operation, with Saudi officials scoping out forest areas outside Istanbul the day before Khashoggi died
While Saudi Arabia has “taken an important step by admitting the murder”, those responsible must be held to account and an independent, criminal investigation needs to be carried out by Turkish authorities
Of the 18 men arrested by Saudi Arabia in the investigation, 15 have already been identified by Turkish police as members of the hit squad who flew in and out of Istanbul the same day Khashoggi was killed.
Riyadh’s suggestion the killing was a rogue extradition operation gone wrong is unsatisfactory and Turkey’s investigation is still ongoing. Erdogan also strongly criticised Saudi Arabia’s “inconsistent statements” over the case so far, and demanded the kingdom identify the “local collaborator” who allegedly disposed of Khashoggi’s body.
Erdogan spoke of Saudi King Salman’s “sincerity” in the investigation so far, but made no mention of his son, Mohammed bin Salman, whom it is believed was probably aware of, and possibly even ordered, the silencing of his prominent critic.
Erdogan did not release the audio of the killing, and apparent video – both of which multiple sources have confirmed that his officials indeed have, but kept pressure on the Saudis to act.
While Erdogan said he believed King Salman was sincere, he did not say the same of Crown Prince.