Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Erdogan blames Saudi officials for Khashoggi killing

Erdogan blames Saudi officials for Khashoggi killing

Turkey's chief prosecutor said this week that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate and also confirmed the body was dismembered.

The Washington Post, citing an unnamed Turkish official, had also reported that their columnist's body had been dissolved using acid or another chemical agent.

Instead, they have pointed the finger at several high-ranking officials, including a top aide to MBS, Saud al-Qahtani, who was recently sacked as part of Riyadh's probe into what happened.

The murder of the royal insider-turned-dissident has provoked widespread outrage against Riyadh and fuelled an global debate about arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia, a key Washington ally against Iran.

However, Wednesday's statement was the first official declaration from the Turkish prosecution.

Erdogan's opinion piece appeared in the newspaper that published many of Khashoggi's columns.

He echoed, however, the rhetoric of the U.S. administration, which so far has been reluctant to say or do anything that could upset the Saudi monarchy, likely awaiting the blame to be shifted upon a group of rogue agents and officials who have nothing to do with the House of Saud.

"When you talked to him you saw he was the gentlest of men", Mr Hashem said.

"Absolutely false - the White House had no knowledge of our coming and we conveyed no messages from the White House or to the White House", Moore told the Washington Post.

Turkey has steered away from publicly blaming Saudi Arabia for the killing. Last week, the kingdom's public prosecutor said the attack on the journalist had been premeditated.

Saudi Arabia has also rejected Ankara's request to extradite the Saudis being held over the murder and called on a Turkish delegation to visit Saudi Arabia to present evidence.

The Saudi representatives said the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains and whether the killing was premeditated or not would only come to light through a joint interrogation by Turkish and Saudi investigators, according to the statement.

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 suspects so they can be put on trial in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday demanded that Saudi Arabia reveal the location of Khashoggi's body and hand over 18 suspects.

Erdogan accused the Saudi consul in Istanbul of lying "through his teeth" and the Saudi chief prosecutor of refusing to cooperate, stalling the process and not answering simple questions. "This is not an incident that could have taken place without a high-level order".

"Erdogan added that he did "not believe for a second" that Saudi's King Salman had ordered the hit on Khashoggi, who was murdered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2". His Turkish fiancee was waiting for him outside.

Khashoggi was a former insider in Saudi royal circles who went into self-imposed exile in the United States a year ago.

Worldwide outcry over the grisly murder of a dissident journalist is not likely to alter U.S. backing of domineering Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

Saudi Attorney General Saud al-Mujeb, along with a delegation, traveled to Turkey on October 28 and visited the prosecutor's office on October 29.

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