ANKARA, Turkey – Officials from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain have listened to audio recordings related to the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, said Saturday the Turkish president in a first-ever existence of slaying gangs.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also told reporters that Saudi Arabia should "act fairly" and reveal those responsible for the killing of the Washington Post reporter on October 2 to get rid of "suspicion." ".
"We gave them the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, America, the Germans, the French, the British, everyone, "said Erdogan before heading to Paris to attend the 100th anniversary ceremonies of the end of the First World War.
"They (the Saudi officials) have also listened to the conversations and they know about it. There is no need to distort this. They know for sure who among the 15 is the killer or the killers, "he said.
He was referring to an alleged team of 15-member assassination who, according to Turkey, was allegedly sent to kill Khashoggi at the consulate where he had arrived to obtain marriage papers from his Turkish fiancee.
The director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, who visited Turkey last month to have information on the investigation, would have heard the audio recordings of the murder. The existence of recordings has been leaked to the media but has never been openly confirmed so far.
According to Turkey, Khashoggi, who criticized Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had been strangled and dismembered at the consulate as part of a premeditated murder. The media has suggested that his body could have been chemically dissolved.
Turkey requests the extradition of 18 suspects who were detained in Saudi Arabia so that they can be brought to justice in Turkey. They include the 15 members of the group of alleged murders.
Saudi Arabia had insisted for weeks after Khashoggi's disappearance for having him out of the consulate before changing accounts to indicate that he had died as a result of a brawl.
Last month, Saudi Arabia acknowledged that the evidence presented by Turkey indicated that the killing of Khashoggi was premeditation, thus changing its explanation in an apparent effort to appease international outrage over the death.
Saudi officials describe this murder as a sneaky operation carried out by Saudi agents who have exceeded their powers. Some of the people involved in the murder are close to the Crown Prince, including a member of his entourage when traveling abroad who was seen at the consulate prior to the killing of Khashoggi.
Erdogan accused the Attorney General of Saudi Arabia, who was sent to Istanbul last month as part of a joint investigation, to use a "delay tactic."
"Saudi Arabia must accept the fact that (the murderer) is one of 18 people and must eliminate suspicion by reacting to Turkey's goodwill and by acting fairly," said Erdogan.
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