Turkey's president insisted on Wednesday his country would not allow those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's killing to avoid justice, keeping up pressure on Riyadh amid global scepticism over varying Saudi accounts of the prominent journalist's death.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Saudi authorities staged the "worst cover-up ever" in the killing of Khashoggi in Turkey this month, as the United States vowed to revoke the visas of some of those believed to be responsible.
"We are determined not to allow a cover-up of this murder and to make sure all those responsible - from those who ordered it to those who carried it out - will not be allowed to avoid justice," Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech in Ankara.
He said some people were uncomfortable with him sharing evidence in a speech on Tuesday about a killing stirring global outrage and straining ties between Riyadh and the West.
02:52 dk 23 Ekim 2018 Yeni Şafak Erdoğan says Turkey has strong evidence Khashoggi murder was ‘premeditated’
In a speech to parliament about a case that has sparked outrage around the globe, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the investigation into the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi would not be closed before the answers to all questions were revealed. “We have strong indications that the murder did not occur spontaneously but was the result of a planned operation. Pinning such a case on a couple of security and intelligence members will not satisfy us or the international community,” Erdoğan said.
But he added: "We will continue to share new evidence transparently with our counterparts to enlighten the dark sides of this murder."
On Tuesday Erdoğan urged Riyadh to search "from top to bottom" to uncover those behind the death of the veteran Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
CIA Director Gina Haspel, in Turkey to investigate the death of Khashoggi, has sought to hear the purported audio recording of his torture and murder, four sources familiar with her mission told Reuters.
For Saudi Arabia’s allies, the question will be whether they believe that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has painted himself as a reformer, has any culpability in the killing, a possibility raised by several U.S. lawmakers.
Khashoggi body double used ‘to aid cover-up’ of killing: AP
Jamal Khashoggi was targeted inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Turkey and a “body double was on hand to aid in a cover-up,” The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.Three weeks after Khashoggi went missing, Saudi Arabia has offered various explanations all with conflicting accounts of what happened to the journalist.“Saudi officials tell the AP they did in fact send a team to Turkey that included a forensics expert and a member whose job was to dress in the 59-year-old writer’s clothes and pretend to be him,” The AP reported.Video: CCTV footage purports to show man resembling Khashoggi leaving consulateKhashoggi vanished after entering the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2 to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.Soon after he went missing, Turkish officials said 15 Saudis arrived in Istanbul on the day of his disappearance in two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside.The account of the events provided to The AP by two Saudi officials confirms that the murder was premeditated, and also reveals attempts to isolate the horrific event from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.Who is al-Madani, Khashoggi’s body double?The officials said the Saudi operatives were acting on the orders of King Salman’s predecessor, King Abdullah, who sought for Saudi dissidents to be brought back to the kingdom to allegedly discuss the nation’s future.The plan was purportedly to take Khashoggi from the consulate to a “safe house” for questioning, but “the operation with Khashoggi turned violent.”“The team included a former Khashoggi colleague who advised him to return to the kingdom. When that failed, the writer, by their account, asked if he was going to be kidnapped. Told he was going to be taken to a safe house, they say he started to yell for help. That’s when an unidentified person on the team applied a chokehold, which the officials said was intended only to keep Khashoggi quiet but ended up killing him instead.”Saudi Arabia will not penalize banks that boycotted conferenceNine of the 15-member squad “panicked and made plans with a local Turkish “collaborator” to remove the body. One official said the body was rolled up in some sort of material and taken from the consulate by the collaborator.”Khashoggi was a U.S. resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post and a critic of the Saudi government, calling for reforms.After denying any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59, for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate. An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold, which a senior official reiterated.G7, EU condemn Saudi journalist's murderUN would investigate Khashoggi if Turkey requestsTurkish, Saudi officials examine Saudi consulate carUS complicity in Saudi abuses starker than before'EU reaction on Khashoggi depends on Saudi steps'Trump rips Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi plotUS to pull visas of Saudis involved in Khashoggi death
Saudi Arabia has given conflicting accounts about Khashoggi's killing, first denying his death and later saying that Khashoggi - a U.S. resident and columnist for the Washington Post - died inside the consulate after a fight.
On Sunday Riyadh called the killing a "huge and grave mistake," but sought to shield the crown prince from the widening crisis, saying Mohammed bin Salman had not been aware.
Saudi Arabia has detained 18 people and dismissed five senior government officials as part of the investigation. One of those fired includes Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed. According to two intelligence sources, Qahtani ran Khashoggi's killing by giving orders over Skype.
Iran: Riyadh would not have murdered Khashoggi without US protection
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would not have murdered prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi without American protection, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Saudi authorities staged the "worst cover-up ever" in the killing of Khashoggi in Turkey this month, as the United States vowed to revoke the visas of some of those believed to be responsible."No one would imagine that in today's world and a new century that we would witness such an organised murder and a system would plan out such a heinous murder," Rouhani said, according to IRNA.Europe’s interest is to clear Khashoggi case: Tusk"I don't think that a country would dare commit such a crime without the protection of America."Iran and Saudi Arabia are regional rivals and have supported opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen and different political factions in Iraq and Lebanon.U.S. protection has allowed Saudi Arabia to carry out bombings against civilians in Yemen's war, Rouhani said, according to IRNA."If there was no American protection, would the people of Yemen still have faced the same brutal bombing?" Rouhani said.Erdoğan says will not let those responsible for Khashoggi killing avoid justiceKhashoggi body double used ‘to aid cover-up’ of killing: APUN would investigate Khashoggi if Turkey requests
Turkish security sources say that when Khashoggi entered the consulate, he was seized by 15 Saudi intelligence operatives who had flown in on two jets just hours before.
The weeks of denial and lack of credible evidence in the face of allegations from Turkish officials that Khashoggi had been killed have shaken global confidence in ties with the world's top oil exporter.
In the latest sign of unease, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said the killing pointed clearly to a violation of human rights that required a review of Switzerland's ties to Riyadh.
Europe’s interest is to clear Khashoggi case: Tusk
The only European interest is to reveal all the details of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the EU Council president said on Wednesday.Addressing the European Parliament’s plenary session in the eastern French city of Strasbourg, Donald Tusk said the killing of Khashoggi is a "a horrible crime"."It is not my role to state who wants to protect whose interests here. But I know one thing: the only European interest is to reveal all the details of this case, regardless of who is behind it," Tusk said.“Even the slightest trace of hypocrisy would bring shame on us,” he added.Erdoğan says will not let those responsible for Khashoggi killing avoid justiceKhashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia last week claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.But Khashoggi's body has not been recovered, and Riyadh has yet to explain its shifting narrative on what transpired."Knowing your sensitivity and determination, I believe that you will not allow for Europe, the Member States or the institutions, to become involved in any ambiguous game," Tusk said.Khashoggi body double used ‘to aid cover-up’ of killing: APOn the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday laid out his country’s initial findings in its investigation, saying Khashoggi's murder was "premeditated".Erdoğan said all information and evidence that has been uncovered showed Khashoggi was the victim of a brutal murder.World media covers Erdoğan’s speech on Khashoggi murderSaudi Arabia will not penalize banks that boycotted conferenceSaudi crown prince to address investment forum amid Khashoggi furore
"On Monday, we demanded for a third time via a Saudi embassy employee that the affair be quickly explained," Cassis told Swiss tabloid Blick. "Every day, we get another smidgen of new information. That's regrettable."
"The clues that are emerging centimeter by centimeter speak a clear language: A violation of human rights and the rule of law," he added. "We have to ask ourselves the question of what that means for our bilateral relations. And we will definitely do that."
Separately, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia, said Riyadh would not have murdered Khashoggi without American protection, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
UN would investigate Khashoggi if Turkey requests
The UN said Tuesday it would investigate the case of killed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi if Turkey requests.“We will wait to see whether we get a formal request from Turkey," UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. "If we get something like that we will evaluate it and make a decision based on the request we received.”For any UN probe to be successful the international body would need the cooperation of all relevant parties, Haq added.'EU reaction on Khashoggi depends on Saudi steps'Khashoggi, who wrote for the Washington Post, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.After denying knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts for more than two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday said he was killed during a fight inside the diplomatic facility.But Khashoggi's body has not been recovered, and Riyadh has yet to explain its shifting narrative on what transpired.Trump rips Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi plotStephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said shortly after Saudi Arabia's announcement that the UN chief "is deeply troubled by the confirmation of the death of Jamal Khashoggi."Guterres "stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible," Guterres said.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier Tuesday laid out his country’s initial findings in its investigation, saying Khashoggi's murder was "premeditated."Erdoğan said all information and evidence that has been uncovered showed Khashoggi was the victim of a brutal murder.Saudi teams explored Istanbul's Belgrad Forest and the northwestern province of Yalova before murdering Khashoggi, Erdoğan said.US to pull visas of Saudis involved in Khashoggi death
Who is al-Madani, Khashoggi’s body double?
After the Oct. 2 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, all eyes turned to his body double who appeared in surveillance cameras. Mustafa Al-Madani, 57, who is of similar age and height, was captured on surveillance cameras in Istanbul on the day Khashoggi was murdered.He is seen dressed in the journalist’s clothes, eyeglasses, and his watch to make it look like as if he had left the consulate building.Al-Madani is believed to be part of the 15-member Saudi hit squad, who was allegedly sent to Istanbul to kill the journalist.US complicity in Saudi abuses starker than beforeAccording to some Arab media reports, al-Madani is a manager at a state-run engineering corporation in Saudi Arabia. His social media account also lists him as an engineer.Al-Madani is also seen in some photos on social media while welcoming some individuals in a palace-like place. This shows that al-Madani may be a figure close to Riyadh administration and King Salman bin Abdulaziz. 'EU reaction on Khashoggi depends on Saudi steps'Al-Madani is ‘security officer’According to a Saudi official, who was cited by Reuters on Sunday, al-Madani is part of the hit squad sent to Istanbul comprising officials from the Saudi intelligence and security forces.This report also hints that he is probably a security officer. Meanwhile, a surveillance footage released by CNN shows al-Madani leaving the Saudi consulate by the back door.According to a CNN report, Madani had entered the consulate building by the front door four hours earlier together with Saudi's forensic medicine chief Salah al-Tubaiqi.Trump rips Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi plotThe video obtained by CNN also shows al-Madani without a beard and wearing a blue and white shirt and dark blue trousers. He is also seen in Khashoggi's clothing near the city's Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet district hours after the journalist was seen entering the consulate building on Oct. 2.Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. US to pull visas of Saudis involved in Khashoggi deathAfter denying knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts for two weeks, Saudi Arabia said he was killed during a "brawl" inside the consulate.His body has not been recovered, nor has Saudi Arabia explained its shifting narrative on what transpired.On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Khashoggi's murder was premeditated, adding that his country had strong evidence showing that it was planned.Video: CCTV footage purports to show man resembling Khashoggi leaving consulate
US complicity in Saudi abuses starker than before
The U.S. complicity in abuses conducted by Saudi Arabia has become more severe since President Donald Trump came to the White House, the director of a rights group said Tuesday."In the past 80 months since Trump entered the White House, the complicity of the U.S. in Saudi Arabia's abuses has become even starker,” said Human Rights Watch Program Director Tom Porteous. “The same goes for Washington in the face of mounting Saudi oppression at home and support for oppression abroad.”Porteous spoke about the political implications of the Khashoggi affair at a panel hosted by the Arab Center, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.The U.S. has a history of being complacent towards abuses committed by the Saudi government, he said, and the Saudis may have believed they would be immune to any repercussions in the wake of Khashoggi's killing.'EU reaction on Khashoggi depends on Saudi steps'Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for the Washington Post was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. On Saturday, after weeks of denying involvement in his disappearance, Saudi Arabia announced he died in a fight inside the embassy.World leaders have called on the Saudi government to provide more concrete answers on his death amid a global outcry, something Porteous says the Saudis were not expecting."It's now idle speculation to suspect that the reason the Saudis may have thought they could get away with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in their consulate in Istanbul, is because of the signals of unconditional support coming from the Trump White House and the rest of the U.S. elite," Porteous added.Trump rips Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi plotDokhi Fassihian, another panelist and a director at Freedom House, argued the killing of Khashoggi was not "a huge surprise" and Saudi Arabia has "been categorized as among the worst of the worst countries in terms of political rights and civil liberties"."Saudi Arabia continues to have one of the most restricted media environments in the entire world," said Fassihian.According to Freedom House, a government nonprofit that advocates for democracy and political freedom, Saudi Arabia has consistently maintained the lowest score -- seven out of 100 -- in terms of political rights for the past 30 years.US to pull visas of Saudis involved in Khashoggi deathShe went further to say that unless Saudi citizens are freed, "reform is really just a mirage"."Obviously, this is an important test. It's a test of U.S. leadership and global leadership on human rights. It's also a test of raw Saudi power. And every authoritarian government today is paying attention," Fassihian added.