Turkish President Erdogan says Saudis’ killing of Jamal Khashoggi was ‘savagely planned’
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned by the Saudis.
Erdogan said Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, “was the victim of a murder which was savagely planned,” laying out a timeline of events from the moment a team of Saudis arrived in Istanbul.
“The information and evidence we have gathered until now shows that Khashoggi was the victim of a murder which was savagely planned,” Erdogan said.
The 18 individual Saudi officials identified as being involved in Khashoggi’s death were the same that a Turkish investigation found to be responsible, Erdogan said.
The Turkish president didn’t mention the audio recording Turkish media said had recorded Khashoggi’s murder. He also didn’t present any physical evidence from the investigation as he addressed Parliament on Tuesday.
Erdogan said Saudi Arabia was obligated to reveal the identity of everyone involved and called for the prosecution of those responsible to take place in Turkey.
Erdogan called on Saudi Arabia’s leaders, including the king, to accede to a Turkish trial for the suspects. “My proposal to the Saudis is that the 15 plus three, 18, people who were arrested should be tried on our soil, in Istanbul.”
Khashoggi fwent missing on Oct. 2 after he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for documents he needed to marry his fiancé, Hatice Cengiz. Saudi officials first denied any involvement in his disappearance, saying he had exited the consulate through the back door.
Exactly what happened inside the consulate is still unclear.
On Friday, more than two weeks after Khashoggi’s disappearance, an investigation by Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor revealed that Khashoggi had died inside the consulate after he met with a group of 15 individuals, resulting in a physical altercation that led to his death.
Over the weekend, a Saudi official told ABC News that Khashoggi died when he was “placed in a chokehold position” to stop him from leaving the consulate and calling for help.
On Monday, CNN received surveillance videos from a senior Turkish official that showed a member of the 15-person Saudi squad dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes the same day the journalist went missing.
Then, a Saudi official told ABC News that the team was acting on orders from the Saudis intelligence agency GIP. According to the official, the mission involved taking Khashoggi to a safe house for 48 hours in order to pressure him to return to Saudi Arabia.
President Donald Trump on Monday told reporters he wasn’t satisfied with the Saudis’ response to Khashoggi’s death, adding, “I’m not satisfied with what I’ve heard.”
Trump, however, continued to defend U.S.-Saudi economic relations.
“I don’t want to lose all of that investment that’s being made in our country,” the president added.
CIA Director Gina Haspel headed to Turkey on Monday to address the investigation of Khashoggi’s death, two sources confirmed to ABC News.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on Monday to discuss American-Saudi strategic partnerships, according to the Saudi Press Agency. Saudi Arabia has said that the Crown Prince was not implicated in the mission against Khashoggi.
While addressing the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan also condemned the conflicting reports that have emerged surrounding Khashoggi’s killing.
Erdogan asked why conflicting claims were made and why Khashoggi’s body has still not been recovered.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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