Erdogan says he gave audio tapes of Khashoggi's death to Saudi officials

11 November, 2018, 11:13 | Author: Sheila Harris
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Recordings related to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death have been passed on to Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.

The existence of such a recording had been an open secret shared with much of the world's media soon after Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Last week, Saudi Arabia told the United Nations' top human rights body that it was investigating the murder of Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate last month with a view to prosecuting the perpetrators.

Speaking as he left Turkey to attend World War One commemorations in France alongside President Donald Trump and European leaders, Erdogan said for the first time that the three European Union states had heard the recordings.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's former spy chief, says the country is proud of its judicial system and will never accept an worldwide investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Media reports have suggested that Khashoggi's body, which has not been found, could have been chemically dissolved.

Khashoggi's sons have appealed to Riyadh to return the body of their father so that the grieving family can bury him in a cemetery in the holy city of Medina with the rest of his clan.

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Erdogan earlier this month accused members of the Saudi government of ordering the killing.

He reiterated that Riyadh is aware of the identity of Khashoggi's killer. After initially denying any involvement, the Saudi government has acknowledged that he was killed in a premeditated operation and detained 18 people as suspects. "Certainly, they know among these 15 [people] that who the killer or killers are, and the Saudi Arabia administration will succeed in revealing things by making the 15 speak", he added.

Some Turkish media and officials had said for weeks that Ankara possessed an audio recording of the murder and had shared it with Central Intelligence Agency head Gina Haspel when she visited Turkey late last month.

And on Monday, a Turkish official said Saudi Arabia sent two experts to Istanbul with the specific aim of covering up evidence after the murder.

The Washington Post journalist was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the second of October. "Saudi Arabia has a responsibility to inform us where the body is", he said.

Also in a meeting in Paris on Saturday, Mr Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron said the Saudi authorities should shed full light on the murder, Reuters quoted French presidential sources as saying.

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