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Erdogan says Saudi journalist’s murder ‘thoroughly planned’

27 October 2018

On Thursday, Prince Mohammed attended the first meeting of a committee aiming to restructure the kingdom's intelligence services after the killing of Khashoggi, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

The murderers of Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi must be convicted in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, Turkish media reported October 23. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino says Washington welcomes the decision.

Turkish police have found an abandoned vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate in an underground auto park in the Sultangazi district of Istanbul and are awaiting Saudi permission to search it.

The journalist Jamal Khashoggi's children have been barred from leaving Saudi Arabia, according to his editor at The Washington Post.

He also mentioned that the usage of the Vienna Convention, which offers diplomatic immunity, was "a matter of debate" in Khashoggi's case. Prince Mohammed sat front-row in the audience of an afternoon session and then looked at some promotional booths outside the main hall as an excited crowd of mostly young Saudi men filmed the encounter on their phones.

Pompeo dodged questions on whether the United States will push for the ouster of Bin Salman over the Khashoggi affair, however, noting that Saudi Arabia is still an important ally in the Middle East and that U.S. relations with the desert kingdom will continue. The US has dispatched CIA Director Gina Haspel to Turkey to investigate the murder.

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Turkey is conducting its own investigation into the killing but it remains unclear where the body of Khashoggi is.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told a major economic summit in Riyadh on Wednesday that the entire Khashoggi affair has been "a very, very painful incident" for Saudi Arabia and "also for everybody on this planet".

Erdogan also laid out what he called a series of troubling questions.

"As we continue to develop our understanding of the individuals that were responsible for this, not only those who executed it but those who were connected to it, the world should know that we intend to hold those individuals accountable when we develop this fact set", Pompeo told reporters.

The Trump administration and the USA defense industry are scrambling to save the few actual deals in a much-touted $110 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia.

Pro-government media reported yesterday that Turkish intelligence has shared "all the evidence" over the murder of Khashoggi with the CIA chief during a visit.

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Other reports said Mr Khashoggi's fingers were cut off and sent to Saudi Arabia as "evidence" of a successful mission.

The death of Mr Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and "Washington Post" columnist, has sparked global outrage and threatened relations between Riyadh and Washington as well as other Western nations.

"Covering up a savage murder like this will only hurt the human conscience".

On October 1, a day before Khashoggi died, three groups of Saudi nationals arrived in Istanbul, the Turkish president said.

Early Saturday, the Saudi government acknowledged in a middle-of-the-night official statement that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate by Saudi agents in a "rogue" operation that ended in a deadly brawl.

The Axios poll released early Wednesday found that 56 percent of respondents said Trump's response to Saudi Arabia has been "not tough enough", while 32 percent said his response has been "about right".

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"Personally, I do not doubt the sincerity of his excellency the King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques", Erdogan said, before stressing the importance of an "impartial and just" inquiry.

Erdogan says Saudi journalist’s murder ‘thoroughly planned’