One of the killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was heard saying ‘I know how to cut’ on an audio tape of the killing, President Recep Erdogan said today.
Erdogan also slammed Riyadh for its changing account of how Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Turkey shared the audio of the killing found by investigators tape with U.S. and European officials to put pressure on the Saudis.
The journalist had gone into the consulate to collect divorce documents for his forthcoming marriage to his Turkish fiancee.
The case has caused global outrage and has damaged the international standing of the 33-year-old crown prince, the kingdom’s de facto ruler.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said one of the killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was heard saying ‘I know how to cut’ on an audio tape of the killing
The U.S. Senate yesterday delivered a rare rebuke to President Donald Trump for his support of the crown prince, whom it blamed for the killing.
Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul today: ‘The United States, Germany, France, Canada, we made them all listen… The man clearly says “I know how to cut”.
‘This man is a soldier. These are all in the audio recordings,’ .
But he did not give further details about the recording.
Istanbul’s chief prosecutor has said Khashoggi was suffocated by his killers in the consulate, before his body was dismembered and disposed of. His remains have not been found.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was said to have been killed by a hit squad in the consulate in Istanbul on October 2
Khashoggi repeatedly told his killers ‘I can’t breathe’ during his final moments, CNN reported on Monday, quoting a source who said they had read the full translated transcript of an audio recording.
Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.
After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh later said Khashoggi had been killed when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.
Erdogan renewed his criticism of Riyadh’s explanation of the killing. Originally it had said Khashoggi had left the consulate.
That was disputed by his Turkish fiancee, who had waited outside the building and said he never emerged.
Khashoggi was last seen alive going into the Saudi consulate and he has not been seen since
‘The prince says Jamal Khashoggi left the consulate. Is Jamal Khashoggi a kid? His fiancee is waiting outside,’ Erdogan said.
‘They think the world is dumb. This nation isn’t dumb and it knows how to hold people accountable.’
Turkish officials said last week that the Istanbul prosecutor’s office had concluded there was ‘strong suspicion’ that Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed, and General Ahmed al-Asiri, who served as deputy head of foreign intelligence, were among the planners of Khashoggi’s killing.
After Riyadh ruled out extraditing the two men, Turkey said this week that the world should seek out justice for Khashoggi under international law.
Erdogan has repeatedly said he would not give up the case. Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and the prince, despite the CIA assessment that it was probably the prince who ordered Khashoggi’s killing.
Turkey is seeking the arrest of two allies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of Khashoggi
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he stood by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince despite a CIA assessment that he ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and pleas from U.S. senators for Trump to condemn the kingdom’s de facto ruler.
Trump refused to comment on whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder, but he provided perhaps his most explicit show of support for the prince since Khashoggi’s death more than two months ago.
Turkey is seeking the arrest of two allies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of Khashoggi.
The pair were removed from their positions in October while Saudi Arabia has detained 21 people and says it is seeking the death penalty for five over the slaying, which sparked international outrage.
Turkey has been seeking to extradite 18 suspects, including 15 members of an alleged assassination squad accused of murdering and dismembering the writer.