Head of the Roman Office covering southern Europe and sometimes parts beyond
Chico Harlan Head of the Roman Office covering southern Europe and sometimes parts beyond John Hudson National security reporter focusing…
ISTANBUL – Twenty-four days after a team of Saudi Arab agents killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, American and Turkish officials ask the question: “Where’s the body?”
The remains of the Washington Post-Contributing Columnists are critical for working for the Russian accounts of the Saudi government and setting an appropriate penalty for the oil-rich monarchy, a key partner in the Trump Administration’s Middle East Policy.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intensified pressure on the Saudi government on Friday in a speech that demanded Khashoggi.
“It has become a declaration that he has been killed but where is the body?” Erdogan said. “You must show it.”
Today, President Trump has also asked his assistants about Khashoggi’s body, but Washington is still in the dark of his residence, according to US officials and diplomats familiar with the situation.
Saudi officials said earlier this week that Khashoggi’s body had been rolled into a carpet and given to a “local partner”, but the Turkish authorities said it was broken into a grumpy operation that involved a saw and big suitcases.
“Finding Your Body In Any Form, It Can Give Credibility To Turkey’s Account,” said Amanda Sloat, a researcher at Brookings Institution, who has expertise in Turkish relations. “If the body appears in the way the leaks suggest, it gives credibility to the prevented nature of this attack, and reflects badly on the Saudi regime. “
On Thursday, CIA director Gina Haspel informed Trump’s latest trip to Turkey, listening to alleged sounds of Khashoggi’s killing. But after the meeting, US officials
“We continue to search for all relevant facts in this case,” says spokesman Robert Palladino. “When we learn more, we will take further action as facts justify . “
A state department official said Khashoggi’s remains” would be located and returned a to his family for a proper burial as soon as possible. “
In his speech, Erdogan suggested that Turkey have further” information and actions “about the killing that would eventually reveal and repeat its call to Saudi Arabia to hand over the 18 people as it has arrested in case of the country’s authorities could not “make them” talk. “Later in the day, the Semi-official Anadolu Office reported that Turkish prosecutors would” demand “the extradition of the suspects.
” Send them to us, “said Erdogan.” The event took place in Istanbul. We will judge them. “
A senior Turkish official who spoke on terms of anonymity said that Turkey requested the extradition because Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi traveling to Turkey and because it was” clear that the justice system in Turkey is better equipped to really earn justice in this case. “
In their own way, Turkey and the United States are pressing Saudi Arabia to give a credible explanation for a crime that has brought global condemnation and has allowed countries to reassess their ties with the Middle East power.
US and foreign officials say that one Such operation – involving a team of Saudi agents – probably would not have taken place without knowledge of the leaders of the empire, including ambitious crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In the aftermath of Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi consulate on October 2, Saudi Arabia has offered to shift Explanations of what happened at a point saying that Khashoggi had left the back of the building undamaged and later said his death was due to a fistfight. But on Thursday, the country made its first clear confirmation that the operation was “prevented.” Erdogan on Friday Did not mention that development but instead criticized earlier Saudi accounts as “comic”.  “These childish statements do not coincide with Erdogan said.
For Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, crime has given reason to push back to Saudi Arabia, one of its regional rivals, and to worsen the credibility of the crown prince. Mohammed this week called the killing of an “abusive crime”. Both Mohammed and his father, King Salman, have told President Trump and Prime Minister Mike Pompeo, who traveled to Saudi Arabia last week, that they had no knowledge of a plot to kill Khashoggi.
The Trump administration is still facing pressure to take action against the Kingdom, although an alliance with Saudi people has been a pillar in its Middle East strategy to counter Iran. Trump has called Khashoggi’s murder “one of the worst coverups in coverup history.”
In its statement on Thursday, Riyadh said it had learned from Turkish officials that the suspects in Khashogi’s death had “committed their actions with foresight.” The Saudi press release attributed to its prosecutor was important because The forward-looking conclusion of Turkey, but it did not clarify whether the Saudi investigators had reached the same conclusion alone.
Pompeo spoke during an interview Friday with conservative radio director Hugh Hewitt, saying: “Saudi prosecutors yesterday made it clear that this was a preventive murder that took place and we continue to learn the facts.”
“The CEO has made it very clear that we will hold responsible managers but that America has an important long-term strategic interest in our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that we will do both of these things while protecting our interests and keeping responsible people. “
Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documentation that would enable him to marry his Turkish fiancé Hatice Cengiz. He was a royal court inspector who had been critical of the Saudi government, and lived in exile in Virginia, partly due to the country’s reduced speech freedom and its degradation of opposition. Khashoggi and Cengiz had recently furnished an apartment for themselves in Istanbul. In an interview with the Turkish Channel Haberturk TV, which fled Friday, Cengiz said that Khashoggi was treated well during a previous trip to the consulate on 28 September.
He still had concerns, but “he believed that Turkey is a safe country and if he were to be held or questioned, this issue would be resolved quickly,” said Cengiz, according to an interview published by Reuters.
Salah Khashoggi, the oldest son of Jamal Khashoggi, arrived in the United States on Thursday after leaving Saudi Arabia, said a person close to the family. Salah is a double American Saudi citizen who was previously limited from leaving and photographed earlier this week and met with Salman and Mohammed
Hudson reported from Washington. Josh Dawsey and Kareem Fahim contributed to this report.