Tuesday, 11 December, 2018


Turkey's Erdogan says Khashoggi killing ordered at Saudi 'highest levels'

Saudi crown prince disparaged slain journalist in call with White House Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Luke Mac Gregor Bloomberg
Bennie Garza | 03 November, 2018, 10:43

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the assassination of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul had been ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government, but he does "not believe for a second" that King Salman issued the order.

"The Saudi officials seemed primarily interested in finding out what evidence the Turkish authorities had against the perpetrators".

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee, on Friday pleaded for the remains to be returned for proper burial. Turkish police have traced at least one vehicle to Belgrad forest, north of Istanbul, later that night.

"According to the latest information we have, the reason they dismembered his body is to dissolve it easier".

As for the Khashoggi disappearance, it is the belief of many that Saudi agents murdered him during his visit to the Gulf state's consultant in Turkey, then chopped into small pieces and discreetly transported him out of the building, or even dissolved him inside.

Johnnie Moore, the group's spokesman who also serves as the White House's unofficial liaison to conservative evangelicals, said they "discussed" Khashoggi's killing, but declined to elaborate, and he insisted they were not representing Israel or Trump in any way.

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

Hatice Cengiz made her appeal in a video message to a memorial in Washington where friends and activists marked one month since Khashoggi's death and paid tribute to his advocacy for democratic change in the Arab world.

The outcry in the US demonizing Saudi Arabia over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul threatens US-Saudi strategic ties, the former Saudi intelligence chief warned on Wednesday. We also know that those individuals came to carry out their orders: "Kill Khashoggi and leave", he wrote.

Most recently, the Saudis have admitted that the death of Mr Khashoggi was "premeditated" after pressure continued to mount from Turkish officials who claim that they have audio and visual recordings of the journalist being strangled, dismembered and, allegedly, dissolved in acid by a Saudi hit squad.

"No one should dare to commit such acts on the soil of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally again".

What do we know about the murder?

The State Department said Friday that it will continue to seek a full investigation into the slaying of US -based Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi as it marked International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

He had become a sharp critic of the Saudi government and of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been pioneering an ambitious economic and social reform programme in the country.

The New York Times, quoting two people familiar with the matter, reported Friday that White House officials knew from an October 9 phone call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he considered Khashoggi a risky Islamist, and therefore knew the Saudi prince had a potential motive for the killing.

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