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Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey’s president wants Saudi suspects to be tried in Istanbul
RECEP Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President, rejected Saudi Arabia’s explanation that the killing of Khashoggi was an accident resulting from a discussion that went awry, a narrative that had been pushed since September, saying it was a pre-planned and “ferocious” murder.
On Tuesday he began his speech in Turkey parliament by first condoling with the family of Khashoggi, his fiancee and the citizens of Saudi Arabia.
“Turkey is becoming the joint conscience of the international community,” he added.
“To try and hide such a ferocious murder is against the conscience of humanity,” Erdogan told the Turkish Parliament.
Erdogan said Saudi consulate cameras were removed before Khashoggi’s arrival. “We have very strong leads that this was not accidental, but that it was planned,” he said.
He further questioned the previous explanations that were given by the Saudi’s and their intentions.
“Why was the consulate not opened immediately?
“Why where the camera’s removed in Saudi consulate before the arrival of Khashoggi?
“Who was the local collaborator that has taken possession of the body?
“This matter will not be closed until all of these questions have been answered,” he said.
While Erdogan enumerated many of the details already reported in the case, he made no reference to the tape and held back from pointing the finger directly at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“I am calling on the prince of Saudi Arabia and the highest level of administration. The incident has occurred in Istanbul so this team of 18 people should be tried in Istanbul,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan added that Saudi authorities gave Turkey a list of 18 suspects held in Saudi Arabia as part of the Kingdom’s probe into the killing of Khashoggi. The list included the 15 Saudi men identified by Turkish authorities, in addition to three more, he said.
Erdogan said he wants the 18 Saudi suspects held in Saudi in connection with the murder of Khashoggi to be tried in Istanbul.
“Turkey will pursue this matter to the end. Our own law and international law must be fulfilled, ” he said.