Turkey shares Khashoggi tapes with key foreign nations
ANKARA, Nov 10: Turkey has given recordings related to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.
Turkish sources have said previously that authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting the murder.
"We gave the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them. They know," Erdogan said.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist critical of the Saudi government and its de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, disappeared at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Saudi officials said initially that Khashoggi had left the consulate, later saying he died in an unplanned "rogue operation". The kingdom's public prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, has since said he was killed in a premeditated attack.
Speaking ahead of his departure for France to attend commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, Erdogan called on Saudi Arabia to identify the killer from among a 15-man team that arrived in Turkey some days before Khashoggi's killing.
"There's no need to distort this issue, they know for certain that the killer, or the killers, is among these 15 people. Saudi Arabia's government can disclose this by making these 15 people talk," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also accused Mojeb - who visited Istanbul to discuss the investigation with his Turkish counterpart and make inspections in the Istanbul consulate- of refusing to cooperate, in turn delaying the inquiry.
Following a meeting on Saturday in Paris, U.S. President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron agreed that the Saudi authorities needed to shed full light on Khashoggi's murder, a French presidency source said. They also agreed that the matter should not be allowed to cause further destabilisation in the Middle East and that it could create an opportunity to find a political resolution to the war in Yemen, according to the official.
The killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi poured his remains down the drain after dissolving him in acid, a Turkish newspaper reported on Saturday.
Samples taken from the drains at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul showed traces of acid, pro-government daily Sabah said, without quoting sources.
This led investigators to believe the dead body of the insider-turned-critic of the Riyadh regime was disposed of through the drains as liquid, the paper said.
After repeated denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted the 59-year-old had been murdered at the mission in a "rogue" operation. Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Erdogan, suggested last week the body may have been dissolved in acid.
Turkey says it has shared recordings related to the murder of the journalist and writer Jamal Khashoggi with the US, the UK, Saudis and others. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his assertion that Saudi Arabia knew who had killed Khashoggi.
The Saudis have also denied comments allegedly made by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman describing Khashoggi to be a dangerous Islamist. The reported phone call to the White House came before Saudi Arabia admitted Khashoggi had been killed.
Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz took to Twitter on Thursday writing, "I'm unable to express my sorrow to hear about dissolving your body Jamal!"
"They killed you and chopped up your body, depriving me and your family of conducting your funeral prayer and burying you in Madinah as wished."
A Turkish official this week confirmed a Sabah report that chemicals expert Ahmad Abdulaziz al-Janobi and toxicology expert Khaled Yahya al-Zahrani were among a team sent from Saudi amid investigations into the murder.
The paper said they visited the consulate every day from their arrival on October 11 until October 17. Saudi Arabia only allowed Turkish police to search the building on October 15. -REUTERS