“Why is the body (Khashoggi) still not found?” Asked the Turkish president, demanding, in addition, to know “who gave the orders” to the killers.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called for the murder in Istanbul of alleged murderers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and insisted on the carefully premeditated nature of the crime, contradicting the version put forward by Ryad.
“The international conscience will only be appeased when all those involved, from the executors to the sponsors, have been punished,” Erdogan said in a speech to his party’s parliamentary group.
“It was in Istanbul that the facts took place, so I suggest that the 18 suspects be tried in Istanbul.” The decision belongs (to the Saudi government), but that’s my proposal, my request, “he said. -he adds.
Erdogan detailed the preparations undertaken by employees of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and a commando of 15 agents sent by Ryad to carry out the murder, which he described as a “political assassination”.
At age 59, Mr. Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, was a critic of the Saudi Crown Prince and strongman of the kingdom Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS.
Erdogan said the killing was “planned” several days before Khashoggi went to the consulate on October 2 by appointment for an administrative procedure.
– CCTV “deactivated” –
The agents sent by Ryad did searches in the city, including in a forest, before the murder, and the video surveillance circuit of the consulate had been “deactivated” the same morning, said Erdogan, confirming information published these last days by the Turkish media.
Erdogan, however, did not specify on what elements he based his statements, not mentioning at any time any audio or video recordings that the Turkish press and some Turkish officials have reported since the beginning of the investigation.
“At this point, all the evidence and evidence that has been discovered indicates that Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a savage murder,” he added.
He also claimed that the evidence confirmed the “premeditated” nature of the murder, in contrast to the Saudi version that Khashoggi was killed during interrogation that went wrong.
After a brief update on the investigation, Erdogan listed a number of unanswered questions.
“Why is the body (Khashoggi) still not found?” Asked the Turkish president, demanding, in addition, to know “who gave the orders” to the killers.
Erdogan, whose country has a complex relationship with Saudi Arabia, a diplomatic rival but also an important economic partner, has been anxious to spare King Salman, saying he is “confident” that he will cooperate with Turkey in the investigation.
– “From top to bottom” –
“By recognizing the murder, the Saudi government has taken an important step, and what we expect of it now is that it brings to light the responsibilities of everyone in this affair, from the highest to the lowest”, continued Erdogan.
However, he did not mention any names, such as that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was accused by the Turkish press and some anonymous officials for committing the crime.
Erdogan’s speech came a few hours after the opening of an international investment forum in Ryad, marked by cascading drops of foreign executives and business leaders, in the turmoil of the affair. Khashoggi.
On the eve of the forum, Prince Ben Salman met in Ryad with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who toured the region but gave up attending the conference after Khashoggi’s murder.
Ryad finally confessed on Saturday that Khashoggi had indeed died at the consulate, claiming he had died in a “fight”. It was an “operation unauthorized” by the government and whose Crown Prince ben Salmane was not informed.
With the succession of macabre revelations by the press and Turkish officials, this version did not convince.
“I am not satisfied with what I heard,” said US President Donald Trump on Monday, who had already lamented the “lies” of Ryad the day before.
The Turkish press had published on Monday new information involving “MBS”.
According to the pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak, the leader of the 15 Saudis commando dispatched to Istanbul to kill Mr. Khashoggi called Prince Ben Salman’s chief of staff, Bader al-Asaker, “four times after the murder”
The Genius Media.