Turkey FM says not satisfied by Saudi comments on Khashoggi
November 16 2018 12:22 AM
Mevlut Cavusoglu
Mevlut Cavusoglu


Turkey is not satisfied with remarks from Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, adding the journalist was targeted in a premeditated killing.

Khashoggi, a US resident and a Washington Post columnist, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, sparking global outrage against the kingdom and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

Riyadh had offered numerous contradictory explanations for his disappearance, before saying Khashoggi was killed after "negotiations" to convince him to return to the kingdom failed.

Yesterday, the public prosecutor's office said he was killed after a struggle by a lethal injection and his body dismembered and taken out of the building.

"I don't find some comments satisfying. They say this person was killed because he resisted, whereas this murder was premeditated," Cavusoglu told reporters.

"Again, they say he was dismembered... but this isn't a spontaneous thing. The necessary equipment and people were previously brought in to kill and later dismember him."

President Tayyip Erdogan has said the killing was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.

Cavusoglu also reiterated Turkey's call for Riyadh to disclose the location of Khashoggi's remains.

"Where is the body of the murdered Khashoggi? Where was it thrown, where was it burned?" Cavusoglu said.

He did not say whether Turkey had evidence that pointed to the body having been burned.

Turkey has previously called for an investigation into reports the body was dissolved in acid.

Cavusoglu also repeated Erdogan's call that the suspects in the case should be tried in Turkey, not Saudi Arabia.

Also on Thursday, an adviser to Erdogan said comments from Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor were aimed at covering up the murder of Khashoggi, adding the Saudi probe was unlikely to find the perpetrators.

"They expect us to believe the killers carried this out on their own. This isn't very credible. Everything is clear as day, but there is an effort to cover it up a bit," Yasin Aktay, who advises Erdogan in his AK Party, said.

The Saudi public prosecutor yesterday sought the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of Khashoggi, in a case that has strained the kingdom's ties with key Western allies.

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policy, was killed in the country's Istanbul consulate on Oct.

Turkish officials have accused Crown Prince Mohamed of ordering the murder. US President Donald Trump has suggested ultimate responsibility lies with the crown prince.

"The Public Prosecutor has requested the death penalty for 5 individuals who are charged with ordering and committing the crime and for the appropriate sentences for the other indicted individuals," his office spokesman Shaalan al-Shaalan told reporters in Riyadh, without naming the five.

He said 11 out of 21 suspects have been indicted and that their cases will be referred to court, while the investigation with the remaining suspects will continue in order to determine their role in the crime.

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