Erdogan calls for trial of Saudi Khashoggi killing suspects in Turkey
- Author: Leroy Wright Oct 24, 2018,
Oct 24, 2018, 4:00
Saudi Arabia - whose ambitious crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been amassing power - initially claimed Khashoggi left freely after visiting the consulate, where he was completing paperwork for his upcoming marriage.
Saudi Arabia said it has arrested 18 Saudis and that several top intelligence officials were fired over Khashoggi's death.
Shortly after Mr Erdogan's address, King Salman of Saudi Arabia issued a statement pledging to hold Mr Khashoggi's killers to account "no matter who they may be".
Three weeks after Khashoggi disappeared, the USA and European security agencies still have an incomplete picture of what happened at the consulate.
"I want to assure the American people: we're going to get to the bottom of it".
Saudi Arabia must relinquish control of the investigation into the "political" murder to an independent and unbiased Turkish operation in Istanbul, Erdoğan said.
The controversial $15-billion contract - signed by the previous Tory government in 2014 and honoured by the Liberals - is under fire following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the kingdom's leadership, in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He did not mention the purported audio and video recordings recording of the killing itself which according to reports multiple sources have confirmed that his officials have.
He also said he told Saudi King Salman that the Saudi consul in Istanbul was incompetent and that he was relieved of his duty and returned to his country.
Trump, however, continued to defend U.S. -Saudi economic relations.
In an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Mevlut Cavusoglu also said Turkey has not shared evidence concerning his death at the Saudi consulate with any country but added that there may have been "an exchange of views between intelligence organizations".
But multiple Saudi officials tell NBC News that the structure of the botched operation demonstrates that the objective wasn't to kill Khashoggi.
"Why did these 15 people all with links to the event gather in Istanbul on the day of the murder?"
An administration official who regularly deals with Kushner pushed back against claims that Kushner and the crown prince are joined at the hip. But Saudi officials have so far refused to answer questions about what happened to Khashoggi's remains, fueling already widespread condemnation of the killing.
Pompeo also said that the State Department is working with the U.S. Treasury to review if Global Magnitsky Act sanctions could be applied to those involved.
Secretary of State Pompeo holds briefing amid investigation into Khashoggi killing. On Monday, CNN released footage supplied by the Turkish government that showed the Saudis had a body double leave the consulate dressed in Khashoggi's clothes after he had disappeared. "I think that would be in their interest". "So we are navigating this very carefully and that's pretty much all I can say on that".
Both Republicans and Democrats have turned their attention to the role of the prince, with whom President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner have cultivated a close relationship. He has repeatedly highlighted the kingdom's importance as an ally. "To cover up such savagery would hurt the human conscience", he said.