Turkey says Saudi explanation of Khashoggi murder ‘insufficient
ISTANBUL, Nov 15, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Turkey on Thursday said the Saudi
statement over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was “insufficient”
and insisted that the killing was “premeditated.”
“We find all those steps positive but insufficient,” Foreign Minister
Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a televised speech.
His comments came shortly after Saudi Arabia admitted that 59-year-old
Khashoggi was drugged and dismembered inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate
Riyadh’s public prosecutor said the journalist’s body parts were then
handed over to an agent outside the consulate grounds and that five Saudi
officials were facing the death penalty over the murder.
“I want to say personally that I don’t find some of the statements
satisfactory,” Cavusoglu said. “This murder was premeditated.”
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman, was last seen stepping into the doors of the Istanbul consulate
to obtain paperwork for his marriage to a Turkish woman.
Turkey has said he was murdered and his body was cut into pieces. After
denials, Riyadh admitted that the man was killed in a “rogue” operation.
On Thursday, a spokesman for the Saudi public prosecutor’s office said the
deputy chief of Saudi intelligence, General Ahmed al-Assiri, had given an
order to force Khashoggi home — and “the head of the negotiating team” that
flew to Istanbul had ordered his murder.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the order came from “the
highest levels” of the Riyadh government, but stopped short of pointing the
finger of blame at the Saudi crown prince.
Cavusoglu said: “Those who gave the command as well as instigators should
also be clarified and this process should not be covered up.”
He said Turkey would continue to do what was necessary “to shed light on
this murder in all its aspects.”