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USA listened to Khashoggi tapes, Turkish president claims

12 November 2018

Saudi Arabia has admitted he was murdered there, but denied suggestions its royal family was involved.

Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Erdogan, suggested last week the body may have been dissolved in acid.

Although Turkey has not publicly blamed Saudi Arabia for the killing, officials there have said Mr. Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered at the consulate in Istanbul after arriving to obtain papers to marry his Turkish fiancee.

"A Turkish official this week confirmed a Sabah report that chemicals expert Ahmad Abdulaziz al-Janobi and toxicology expert Khaled Yahya al-Zahrani were among a team sent from Saudi amid investigations into the murder. Saudi Arabia's government can disclose this by making these 15 people talk", Erdogan said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogansaid on Saturday that audio related to Khashoggi's murder was shared with Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain.

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Saudi officials characterize the killing as a rogue operation carried out by Saudi agents who exceeded their authority.

He said Saudi Arabia knows Khashoggi's killer is among a group of 15 people who flew into Istanbul hours before the October 2 incident.

"We gave the tapes".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday the U.S. will hold accountable all involved in the killing of a dissident Saudi journalist in a wide-ranging telephone call that also took in the conflict in Yemen.

"They listened to the conversations which took place here, they know", he said, but added that they were not accompanied by any written documents.

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The White House declined to say whether it had a copy of the recording, The New York Times reported Saturday, but CIA Director Gina Haspel purportedly listened to the recordings in Ankara last month. The kingdom's public prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, has since said he was killed in a premeditated attack.

Last month two separate intelligence sources told Reuters Qahtani gave orders over Skype to Khashoggi's killers at the consulate.

USA officials said on Friday that the Trump administration is ending air refueling flights for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen and preparing sanctions against Saudis linked to the killing. There was no indication that any of the suspects were detained. According to latest reports, Khashoggi's remains were poured down a drain after being dissolved in acid.

During a phone call with President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton, Prince Mohammed said Khashoggi had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Islamist organisation, according to the Washington Post.

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USA listened to Khashoggi tapes, Turkish president claims