Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Saudi Arabia Friday to disclose the whereabouts of the body of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and identify the “local cooperator” who allegedly disposed of his body after he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul October 2.
Speaking to provincial members of his AK Party in parliament, Erdogan said Ankara has more evidence related to the journalist’s killing, but he did not give any details. He also said Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor will visit Istanbul Sunday and will meet with Turkish officials as part of the investigation into Khashoggi’s killing.
Saudi Arabia acknowledged in a statement Thursday that Khashoggi’s killing appeared to have been premeditated, on the basis of evidence provided by Turkey.
What was left unclear was who premeditated the killing. The Saudi statement said, “The public prosecution continues its investigation with suspects … to complete the course of justice.” The Saudis fired five officials linked to the killing and have arrested 18 suspects.
International critics, including U.S. President Donald Trump, have said that the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, bears ultimate responsibility for the killing.
The Kremlin said Friday Russia believes the Saudi royals were not involved in the journalist’s murder. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “There’s an official statement from the king, there’s an official statement from the Crown Prince (Mohammed bin Salman) and no one should have any grounds not to believe them.”
Meanwhile, Salah Khashoggi, the slain journalist’s son, has left Saudi Arabia after a travel ban was revoked, allowing him to come to the United States. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “made it clear” on his recent trip to Riyadh that Washington wanted the ban reversed, according to a State Department spokesman. The slain journalist lived in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, but it was not immediately clear where his son will reside in the United States.