Tuesday, 23 October 2018 13:03

BREAKING:Khashoggi murder premeditated, Erdoğan says, demands answers from Saudi

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave detailed information of Jamal Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.
Erdoğan confirmed that a 15-man Saudi team took part in the incident. "A Saudi team of three people landed in Istanbul one day before Khashoggi's killing and visited forests in Istanbul and Yalova," he said, adding that two other teams arrived at the consulate separately.
"Saudi consulate cameras were removed and all footage was deleted from hard drives. Camera footage shows Khashoggi did not leave the consulate," Erdoğan said.
"Saudi Arabia denied the incident on Oct. 4. The consul general invited a Reuters reporter to the consulate, opening a few cupboards and claiming nothing happened."
Erdoğan said that he told the Saudi delegation dispatched for the investigation and King Salman that Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi was negligent and incompetent. He was later recalled to Riyadh and was relieved of his duties.
"The murder took place inside the Saudi consulate but it should not be forgotten that it took place on Turkish soil. The Vienna convention does not allow the investigation of such murders to be prevented by diplomatic immunity," Erdoğan said, saying that he also expects the convention to be reviewed after this incident.
"Evidence shows Khashoggi's killing was a result of a planned operation. Why was the team assembled in Istanbul? Who gave the instruction for them to assemble? Why wasn't the consulate open to the investigation until many days later? Why were conflicting statements made? Where is the body of a person who was admittedly murdered? We need answers," he said.
"I call on Saudi Arabia's government to permit Khashoggi killing suspects to be tried in Istanbul," he added.
Separately, Erdoğan offered condolences to the family and relatives of Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
After denying knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday said he was killed during a fight inside its Istanbul consulate.
His body has not been recovered, nor has Saudi Arabia explained its shifting narrative on what transpired.
On the day of Khashoggi's disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.
Daily Sabah
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