| 23.10,18. 09:33 PM |
Khashoggi murder 'premeditated': President Erdogan
The Oct. 2 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "premeditated", Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.
Speaking during his Justice and Development (AK) Party's group meeting at parliament, Erdogan addressed details over Turkey's investigation into the murder of Khashoggi.
"Murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated", Erdogan said, adding that Turkey has strong evidence that it was planned.
Erdogan added that all information, evidence that has been revealed until now showed that Khashoggi was the victim of a "savage" murder.
Erdogan said Saudi teams made explorations in Istanbul's Belgrad Forest and the northwestern province of Yalova before murdering Khashoggi.
Erdogan also said that the Saudi government formally admitted to the killing of Khashoggi 17 days after his murder.
"Vienna convention would not allow such a 'savage' murder," Erdogan said.
"Diplomatic immunity, which is a part of the Vienna Convention, will be opened to debate," he said.
President Erdogan also proposed that the 18 suspects involved in the murder should stand court trial in Istanbul as the murder was committed there.
"Everyone, those who ordered his murder and those who executed it, should answer for their doing," Erdogan said, labeling the killing of Khashoggi a "political murder".
Erdogan also said anyone from countries other than Saudi Arabia who might have been accessory to the grisly murder should be investigated too.
"It is very important that such a critical investigation should be conducted by a neutral and fair committee," he said.
Erdogan also said that putting the blame on a few security and intelligence officers would not convince Turkey or the international community.
"Conspiracy attempts against the reputation of Turkey on international media has not and will not stop us from trying to search for facts," Erdogan said, vowing to unveil all aspects of the Khashoggi murder.
"Turkey, aside from its own sovereign rights, will follow the issue in the name of the international community as a representative of humanity’s common conscience," Erdogan added.
Separately, Erdogan offered condolences to the family and relatives of Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
After denying knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday said he was killed during a fight inside its Istanbul consulate.
His body has not been recovered, nor has Saudi Arabia explained its shifting narrative on what transpired.
On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.