Published: Sun, October 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Turkish reaction: we won’t allow "cover-up" in Saudi killing

Turkish reaction: we won’t allow

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Saturday demanded an "exhaustive and diligent investigation" into the death of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi who Riyadh now admits was killed inside its Istanbul consulate.

Turkish police and prosecutors searched this week both the consulate and the consul's residence in Istanbul.

Riyadh announced the arrest of 18 Saudis and the sacking of two top aides of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has faced mounting global pressure over Khashoggi's disappearance.

It comes despite the claims of Turkish officials who have said they have evidence of his killing, including an audio recording of Khashoggi's death.

Turkish officials have released footage of a squad of Saudi men arriving in Istanbul the day Jamal Khashoggi vanished.

An announcement on Saudi state TV said discussions between Khashoggi and officials at the consulate quickly turned violent and ended in his death.

The Washington Post newspaper reported on October 12 that the Turkish government had informed U.S. officials about audio and video recordings suggesting that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi after he entered the consulate, then murdered him and dismembered his body.

Trump told reporters Friday that the Saudi explanation was credible, but he has privately grimaced that his son-in-law Jared Kushner's close relationship with the crown prince has become a liability and left the White House with no good options, us officials said.

This is only a first step towards publicising the truth of what really happened. "It was a good first step", Trump said of the sackings. "And as long as he sits in front of the camera, saying I buy this and the Saudis are taking action. the Saudis could get away with it".

Saudi Arabia will now begin a full investigation of the incident, with a deadline of one month to produce a report.

Saudi Crown Prince Had No Knowledge of 'Specific' Khashoggi Operation
The two-star general's position as spokesman made him a household name and he was soon part of the crown prince's inner circle. Congressman Jim Costa said that he is appalled by the reports that Saudi officials were involved in the death of Khashoggi.

"As a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, I am seeking a classified briefing and depending on the facts of this case, we may need to re-assess our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including planned arms sales, our ongoing support for the war in Yemen, and other aspects of our partnership with the Kingdom".

The controversy has put the kingdom - for decades a key ally in Western efforts to contain Iran - under unprecedented pressure.

Ankara said it regarded it as a "debt of honour" to reveal what happened.

Hours after the Saudi admission, Omer Celik, spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), said Turkey was not "accusing anyone in advance but we don't accept anything to remain covered (up)".

"Appalling news about Jamal #Khashoggi".

The UK Foreign Office said it was mulling a response to the death of the journalist, stressing that those responsible must be held accountable.

Rights group Amnesty International's senior crisis adviser, Rawya Rageh, described the official explanation of Khashoggi's death as being as "far away as possible from transparency" and called for "a neutral and independent investigation" by the United Nations.

However, amid the rising worldwide pressure, Turkey and Saudi Arabia conducted a joint search of the Saudi consulate.

The dismissed official Qahtani, 40, rose to prominence after latching onto Prince Mohammed, becoming a rare confidant in his inner circle.

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