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Turkish Leader: 'Savage' Murder Can't Go Unpunished

Erdogan wants answers from Saudi Arabia
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2018 6:30 AM CDT
Updated Oct 23, 2018 6:54 AM CDT
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey.   (AP Photo/Ali Unal)
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(Newser) – Turkey's president says the latest Saudi explanation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death doesn't wash—and he's demanding answers. The Saudis blame a fistfight that escalated out of control, but in a highly anticipated speech on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted that the "brutal" killing had been planned days before Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "Covering up this kind of savagery will hurt the conscience of all humanity,” he said, per the Washington Post. Erdogan did not directly implicate crown prince Mohammed bin Salman or any other top Saudi official, but he called on Saudi Arabia to extradite more than a dozen suspects to Turkey as the first step in an investigation. "Pinning such a case on some security and intelligence members will not satisfy us or the international community," he said, per Reuters. Other highlights:

  • He said a team of Saudi agents arrived in Turkey on Oct. 1, the day before Khashoggi's death, and some visited the woods around Istanbul; that area has been searched for the journalist's body, which has yet to be found. Another team went to the consulate and removed the hard disk from its security camera, he said.
  • “Why did these 15 people meet in Istanbul on the day of the murder?" Erdogan asked. "We are seeking answers to this. Who are these people receiving orders from?”
  • Erdogan made no mention of an audio recording purported to have captured the slaying, reports CNN.
  • Erdogan asked the Saudis to reveal the name of a "local cooperator" accused of taking the body.
The Turks previously revealed that the Saudis used a body double of Khashoggi after the killing. (Read more Jamal Khashoggi stories.)

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