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24 October 2018

President Erdogan: Saudis Plotted Writer’s Killing For Days

Saudi officials murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their Istanbul consulate after plotting his death for days, Turkey’s president said yesterday, contradicting Saudi Arabia’s explanation that the writer was accidentally killed. He demanded that the kingdom reveal the identities of all involved, regardless of rank.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said he wants Saudi Arabia to allow 18 suspects that it detained for the Saudi’s killing to be tried in Turkish courts, setting up further complications with the Saudi government, which has said it is conducting its own investigation and will punish those involved. Saudi Arabia has described the suspects as rogue operators, even though officials linked to Saudi Arabia’s assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have been implicated in the killing.

“To blame such an incident on a handful of security and intelli-gence members would not satisfy us or the international commu-nity,” Erdogan said in a speech to ruling party lawmakers in parliament.

“Saudi Arabia has taken an important step by admitting the murder. As of now we expect of them to openly bring to light those responsible – from the highest ranked to the lowest – and to bring them to justice,” said the Turkish president, who used the word “murder” 15 times in his speech.

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel is in Turkey to review the case, according to a US official who was not authorised to discuss the trip and spoke only on condition of anonymity. US President Donald Trump has said he’s not satisfied with the explanations he’s heard from Saudi Arabia about the death of the Washington Postcolumnist and critic of the kingdom.

Erdogan’s speech was previously pitched as revealing the “naked truth” about Khashoggi’s slaying. Instead, much of what he said confirmed reports and leaks citing anonymous officials in the days since the journalist walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Erdogan didn’t mention Prince Mohammed by name in his speech. However, he kept pressure on the kingdom with his demands for Turkish prosecution of the suspects as well as punishment for the plot’s masterminds.

Courtesy Of The Jamaica Gleaner

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