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Erdogan says Khashoggi was victim of 'ferocious' pre-planned murder

Jamal Khashoggi died as a result of a brutal premeditated murder, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sa...

Posted: Oct 23, 2018 1:31 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2018 1:31 PM

Jamal Khashoggi died as a result of a brutal premeditated murder, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, in a highly anticipated speech in which he soundly rejected Saudi Arabia's claim that the journalist was killed accidentally.

Erdogan questioned whether Riyadh was able to carry out an independent investigation in to the death of the Washington Post journalist, and he demanded that the 18 suspects arrested by authorities in Saudi Arabia be extradited to Turkey to stand trial in Istanbul.

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It was the first time that any official in Turkey has publicly outlined the Turkish contention that Khashoggi was killed at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul by a hit squad sent from Riyadh. While Erdogan did not offer any bombshell revelations, his speech amounted to a comprehensive rejection of Saudi Arabia's case that Khashoggi died by accident as a result of a brawl.

"The information obtained so far and the evidence found shows that Khashoggi was murdered in a ferocious manner," Erdogan told lawmakers in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Among the new details revealed by Erdogan was an allegation that, on the day before Khashoggi was killed, a team of consular staff carried out a reconnaissance mission in a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul, and at Yalova, a city about a 55-mile (90-kilometer) drive south. Erdogan did not say why the locations were scouted, but he noted later that Khashoggi's body has yet to be found.

Erdogan also alleged that, hours before Khashoggi arrived for an appointment at the Istanbul consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork to marry his fiancee, security cameras in the building were disconnected.

"We have significant signs that this was not something which happened instantaneously, but was planned," Erdogan said.

Saudi Arabia has insisted that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler, knew nothing of the operation to target Khashoggi. But Erdogan indicated that Turkey would not accept any attempt to pin the blame for the killing on rogue elements of the Saudi intelligence and security services. The world would only be satisfied "when everyone who is responsible, from the person who gave the order to those who executed it, is called to answer," he said.

In the runup to the speech, Erdogan had promised the "naked truth." In reality, he offered few details beyond those already revealed by Turkish officials speaking privately. He made no reference to a previously reported audio recording from inside the consulate, said to have captured Khashoggi's alleged torture and killing, nor did he mention bin Salman by name.

The omissions raise questions over whether Erdogan may have withheld the most damaging allegations related to the case, in an effort to hold further sway over bin Salman and US President Donald Trump.

CIA Director Gina Haspel, in Turkey on a mission to learn more about the evidence in Turkey's possession, will brief Trump on her return to Washington, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday.

A slow drip of revelations from Turkey has forced Saudi Arabia to shift from its initial firm denials that any harm had come to Khashoggi. On Friday the Saudi government admitted for the first time that Khashoggi had died at its diplomatic compound in Istanbul, claiming he was killed when a discussion turned into a fistfight. Then, a source contended that he had died in a chokehold. On Sunday, the Saudi foreign minister conceded that Khashoggi had been murdered.

The crisis has overshadowed Saudi Arabia's flagship investment conference, which began in Riyadh as Erdogan spoke in Ankara. Dozens of top business leaders from around the world have pulled out of the Crown Prince's showcase event, known as "Davos in the desert," as questions mount over the Saudi government's role in Khashoggi's death.

The Crown Prince and his father King Salman were pictured shaking hands with Salah bin Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist's eldest son, and Sahl bin Ahmad Khashoggi, another relative, at Al Yamama Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday as Saudi state television flashed urgent banners from the Council of Ministers that the kingdom would hold those "who failed in their duties" to account.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday that evidence uncovered during the investigation has yet to be shared with any country, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu News, but that Turkey was "ready to cooperate in a possible probe into Khashoggi case at UN, international courts."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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