News Desk |
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday during a speech to his ruling party in Ankara stated that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned days in advance.
He said that Turkey had strong evidence that Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated and “savage” murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. He also called for the suspects to be tried in Istanbul. He also demanded Saudi Arabia provide answers about where Khashoggi’s body was and who ordered the operation.
On top of that, we have to wait for the end of the investigation and examinations so that we do not falsely incriminate anyone.
“My demand is that 18 people be tried in Istanbul,” Erdogan said in his speech to ruling party lawmakers, adding that “all those who played a role in the murder” had to face punishment. He said that the murder was “planned” days in advance according to a “roadmap” set up by a Saudi team who were sent to Istanbul for the purpose.
Erdogan added he still wanted answers on numerous issues including “who gave orders” to the team and where the corpse was. The Turkish president said that camera footage showed Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but did not leave.
He alleged that the Saudi consulate had deactivated the surveillance system ahead of Khashoggi’s murder. The Turkish president said that “all from the highest degree to the lowest level will be highlighted and will be brought to punishment.”
“There are indications that this was a result of a well-planned assassination,” he said. “Who gave the instructions to these highly trained individuals to come to Istanbul? Why wasn’t the consulate opened on the day of the incident for investigation and now that there has been an acknowledgment of a murder, why is there not a body?”
He said that Turkey had strong evidence that Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated and “savage” murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
“We have to ask questions and find answers to these questions because this all happened in Istanbul, and we have, as a result, responsibility. At every opportunity, we have made it clear that we will not remain silent in the face of this murder and that we will take every step required by our conscience and by the law.
“On top of that, we have to wait for the end of the investigation and examinations so that we do not falsely incriminate anyone. We had a phone conversation with the king of Saudi Arabia for the first time on October 14, and I explained to him the situation. During this conversation, I explained to him the talks we had with the delegation he had previously sent, and I informed him of our joint decision to have a joint investigative group.”
The Turkish president said that diplomatic immunity was not “armor” for murder, adding that the Vienna convention would not allow those responsible for Khashoggi’s murder to get away with it.