6th November, 2018
A 15-man Saudi team that flew to Turkey before the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the slain Saudi journalist, must have been acting on orders, not necessarily from King Salman, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said.
Cavusoglu, however, said that it was Saudi Arabia’s responsibility to tell Turkey what happened to Khashoggi’s body.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist critical of the Saudi Government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, disappeared at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Saudi officials initially insisted that Khashoggi had left the consulate, then said he died in an unplanned “rogue operation”.
The kingdom’s public prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, later said that the journalist was killed in a premeditated attack.
Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, had repeatedly demanded for more information from Saudi Arabia.
He asked Saudi officials to explain who in Riyadh sent the 15-man team suspected of involvement in the killing.
Erdogan said “the 15-man team did not come to Turkey on their own, they came on orders.
“Without due orders and permissions, 15 people cannot come from Saudi Arabia to kill their own citizen.”
Cavusoglu said Erdogan had spoken to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman twice after the killing, and that he was sure the king would not give orders to kill someone.
Turkish and Saudi officials had carried out joint inspection of the consulate and consul’s residence.
Erdogan said some Saudi officials were still trying to cover up the crime.
Ankara had demanded Riyadh to cooperate in finding Khashoggi’s body, which Istanbul’s chief prosecutor said had been dismembered.
“I think it is Saudi Arabia’s responsibility to find out what happened to Khashoggi’s body and inform us about it, as the 15-man team is still in Saudi Arabia,” Cavusoglu said.
Saudi Arabia has so far detained 18 people and dismissed five senior government officials as part of an investigation into Khashoggi’s death.