Erdogan: Suspects of Khashoggi Murder Should Be Tried In Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called for a total of 18 Saudi suspects in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to be tried in Istanbul.
“It would not satisfy us or the international community to blame the incident on a few security guards,” Erdogan said regarding the killing of the journalist at the Saudi consulate-general in Istanbul, during a speech to ruling party lawmakers in Ankara.
He continued, “I want to make a call here. My call is addressing the king of Saudi Arabia and the administration. The location, where the incident took place, is Istanbul. My suggestion is to try these 18 individuals arrested [in connection with the murder] in Istanbul. It is at their discretion.”
Vowing to investigate the murder from every angle, Erdogan stated that Khashoggi’s body is claimed to have been handed to a “collaborator” in Istanbul after it was moved out of the consulate premise. He asked “If that claim is true, who is this local collaborator?”
Noting that that the “collaborator” claim was made by the Saudi officials, Erdogan called on the country’s government to disclose their identity.
The president reiterated that Turkey has evidence showing that the incident was a “premeditated murder”, adding that it was planned days in advance according to a “roadmap” set up by a Saudi team who were sent to Istanbul for the purpose.
He also listed a number of questions directed at the Saudi administration such as “Why did those 15 people [who visited the consulate after traveling from Saudi Arabia] gathered in Istanbul on the day of the murder? Who did they take orders from? Why was the consulate closed for days? Where is the body of the person, who is officially confirmed to have been killed?”
With regards to his phone call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Erdogan said that he told him about the incompetence of the consul-general, which the king agreed, and that the consul was discharged from his post the next day.
Erdogan also mentioned his conversation on October 21 with U.S. President Donald J. Trump over the phone, saying the two leaders agreed that the murder should be solved.