Turkey refuses to share all Khashoggi evidence with Saudis
Jamal Khashoggi Turkey refuses to share all Khashoggi evidence with Saudis
Meeting of Saudi prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb and his Istanbul counterpart relatively brief
Turkish investigators have refused to share with Saudi Arabiaâs public prosecutor all the evidence they have compiled on Saudi complicity in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Saudi pros ecutor Saud al-Mojeb held talks with the Istanbul chief prosecutor on Monday morning in Istanbul, but the lack of trust between the two countries led to a relatively brief meeting of only 75 minutes.
Turkey had wanted confirmation on the whereabouts of Khashoggiâs remains, the identity of the local cooperator that the Saudis claim disposed of the body, and an update on the progress of a Saudi investigation of the 15 Saudi operatives who visited the Istanbul consulate at the time of the murder on 2 October.
Turkeyâs state broadcaster TRT Haber said Saudi officials asked for the whole investigation folder, including evidence, statements and footage, to be given to them. TRT said the Saudi request was denied.
Saudi Arabia has admitted that a premeditated plan was made to kill Khashoggi, but say it was set up by a group of rogue operators without the knowledge of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan, ha d earlier welcomed the prosecutorâs arrival, while the foreign minister MevlÃ¼t ÃavuÅoÄlu had called on Riyadh to start co-operating so the whole world could know the truth about Khashoggiâs killing.
At a memorial service for Khashoggi in London, his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, said there must be no cover-up, and called for western countries to demand justice. Cengiz said she had been disappointed by some countriesâ response to his death, singling out Donald Trump for âpaving the way for a cover-upâ.
Khashoggiâs fiancee said she said believed that the Saudi government knew the whereabouts of his body, and that her life was turned upside down âon the horrible day that Jamal entered the Saudi consulateâ.
âIf only I had known there was such an evil bloodthirsty crew I would have done everything to stop him entering that building,â she said. âWe never imagined such a level of barbarity and evil.â
Cengiz described Khashoggi as a âpatri ot who felt it his duty to become the voice of the voicelessâ. She added: âHe wrote what he believed and only wrote what he knew was right, and not what would satisfy the powerful.â
Western powers believe ErdoÄan is still holding back evidence in a bid to back Prince Mohammed into a corner. Turkey has yet to release an audio tape which was allegedly a recording of the killing of Khashoggi, or evidence to show that the 15 Saudi operatives inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul made four phone calls to the crown princeâs office, as pro-government Turkish media have claimed, based on leaked information.
Khashoggiâs remains have not been found but cars from the Saudi consulate went to the consul generalâs residence, with one vehicle continuing to woodland on the edge of Istanbul.
Pro-government Turkish media have published new photos of cars owned by the Saudi diplomatic mission being cleaned before police were allowed to search them.
A driver who drove some of the Saudi team to the airport after Khashoggiâs murder told A Haber television that the men had appeared relaxed and cheerful, smoking and drinking alcohol on the way home.
Khashoggiâs death has caused a major diplomatic crisis for Saudi Arabia and has cast an unwelcome spotlight on bin Salman, whom many believe must have been aware of an operation that allegedly involved several members of his personal guard and trusted senior officials.Jamal Khashoggi killing: what we know and what will happen next Read more
Tur kish prosecutors have prepared an extradition request for 18 suspects arrested by Riyadh as part of the Saudi investigation, including the 15 who were at the consulate, although the Saudi foreign minister insisted on Saturday that the men would be tried on Saudi soil.
Although Saudi Arabia has vowed it will conduct a thorough criminal investigation and deliver justice for Khashoggi, Turkish investigators have been faced with several delays from their Saudi counterparts. Riyadh and Ankaraâs versions of what happened to the dissident writer are wildly different.
Turkey maintains there is evidence that shows Khashoggi was tortured and murdered during an appointment at the Saudi consulate by a hit team of 15 men sent from Riyadh.
The Saudi authorities initially denied they had anything to do with Khashoggiâs disappearance before eventually alleging that he had died in a fistfight with officials who had embarked on an unauthorised extradition operation.
T urkish investigators are still seeking permission to drain a well in the grounds of the Saudi consul generalâs residence, where it is believed the journalistâs remains could have been disposed.Topics
- Jamal Khashoggi
- Saudi Arabia
- Middle East and North Africa
- Journalist safety
- Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan
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