Khashoggi: Erdogan says top levels of Saudi government behind journalist's killing

Perspectives Leon Levy

Mohammed bin Salman 'told White House' Khashoggi was a dangerous Islamist

"I would like him to support Turkey's efforts in trying to bring light to this situation and to discover the whereabouts of his body", said Cengiz, who was waiting outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 when the journalist went inside to obtain paperwork for their planned marriage, never to re-emerge.

But questions remain, and most recently the Washington Post reported that Salman claimed in a phone call with USA officials that Khashoggi was risky and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Khashoggi's family denies.

One person familiar with the White House's deliberations said the administration expects to impose some sanctions on Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi killing, in part because of bipartisan pressure from Congress.

Finally, we know that the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government.

"According to the latest information we have, the reason they dismembered his body is to dissolve it easier".

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Aktay, who was a friend of Khashoggi's, said he believes that the body was cut into pieces so that it could be dissolved in chemicals.

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime, was murdered inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul last month, and Turkish officials are still searching for his remains.

During an interview, Gul told reporters that Turkey is looking forward to close cooperation with Saudi officials regarding Khashoggi's murder and that Riyadh should provide support to reveal the truth about it.

Saudi authorities have denied Turkish police permission to search a well in the garden, but allowed them to take water samples for analysis, according to local reports.

US media reported on Thursday that MBS described Khashoggi as a "dangerous Islamist" in a phone call with Jared Kushner and John Bolton, US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and national security adviser respectively, days after Khashoggi's disappearance and before Saudi Arabia publicly acknowledged his killing.

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Turkish officials kept up a steady stream of leaks about Khashoggi's killing for several weeks following his death, before the country's chief prosecutor announced on October 31 that the journalist had been strangled and dismembered.

On Thursday, Washington Post CEO Fred Ryan dedicated an award speech to Khashoggi, and called upon the U.S. government to immediately suspend weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has arrested 18 men on suspicion of killing Mr Khashoggi but denied that Crown Prince Mohammed ordered his death or had any involvement in it. Turkey's state-run news agency says the Turkish military has shelled positions held by US -backed Kurdish fighters across the border east of the Euphrates River in Syria, killing four Kurdish fighters and wounding six others.

Commenting on al-Mujeb's visit to Turkey, Saudi daily Okaz ran the headline, "Attorney general concludes 72-hour visit by meeting with [Turkish] intelligence and inviting Turkish counterpart [to visit Saudi Arabia]".

Speaking at the memorial service in Washington, Daniel Balson from Amnesty International said the Saudi government needed to be held to account over the journalist's death.

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Riyadh has maintained that neither King Salman nor Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew of the operation to target Khashoggi. She termed the Trump administration "devoid of moral foundation". His invitation for Turkish investigators to Saudi Arabia for more talks about the case felt like a desperate and deliberate stalling tactic.

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