Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says all those behind the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi should be brought to justice, calling for all suspects in the case to stand trial in Istanbul.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says all those behind the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi should be brought to justice, calling for all suspects in the case to stand trial in Istanbul.
“My demand is that 18 people be tried in Istanbul,” Erdogan said in an address to lawmakers from his ruling party at the parliament in Ankara on Tuesday on the case of Khashoggi, who was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Erdogan also noted that “all those who played a role in the murder” have to face punishment.
The “very savage murder” had been “planned” days in advance and there was a roadmap to perpetrate the killing, Erdogan pointed out.
He further criticized Riyadh’s contradictory reports in the days following his disappearance, saying Ankara will not stop its investigation until all major questions in the case are answered.
“Why did these 15 men meet in Istanbul on the day of the murder? Who ordered them to do so? Why did they open the consulate building to investigation not immediately, but days later?” asked Erdogan.
“Why don’t they still produce the body of the person after their admission? Who is the ‘local cooperator’ that a Saudi official pointed at as the person who took the body? You should reveal who this local cooperator is,” he added.
Elsewhere in his address, the Turkish president called for an independent commission to be set up to probe the murder.
Moreover, Erdogan questioned the Vienna Convention and the immunity it affords diplomats.
“The Vienna Convention would not allow such a brutal murder to happen,” he said. “Diplomatic immunity, which is a part of the Vienna Convention, will be debated.”
Erdogan had earlier promised to reveal the “naked truth” about the murder within days. During his speech, He gave a series of new details on the case.
On the day of the murder, he said, the surveillance system at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul had been deactivated on purpose.
Khashoggi first came to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on September 28 to get his marriage documents, said Erdogan, adding that the “roadmap” to kill him started with that visit.
“On Oct. 1, a team of three (Saudis) landed in Istanbul and went to the consulate. Another consulate team went to Istanbul’s Belgrad Forest and the [neighboring] Yalova province,” he added. "Then another group came and this 15-member team went to the consulate on Oct. 2 morning and removed the hard disks of security cameras there."