Turkey Hands Over Khashoggi Recordings to U.S., Erdogan Says

Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz in London on 29 October 2018

Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz in London on 29 October 2018

Saudi authorities have, however, rejected any involvement by the royal family.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his assertion that Saudi Arabia knew who had killed Khashoggi.

"We gave the tapes".

"A team of 15 men can not come to Turkey to kill a Saudi citizen without orders", he said, adding that "the people who killed Khashoggi received instructions from someone".

Cavusoglu said Tuesday that after multiple conversations with Saudi King Salman, President Erdogan was convinced the king was not involved.

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CIA Director Gina Haspel, who visited Turkey last month for information on the investigation, is reported to have heard the audio recordings of the killing.

Initially, Turkish media had quoted sources as saying Turkey had audio recordings proving that Khashoggi had been tortured before being murdered.

Saudi Arabia had insisted for weeks after Khashoggi disappeared that he had walked out of the consulate, before changing its account to say he died in a brawl.

A Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity, previously told MEE that the audio recordings were unlikely to ever be publicly released. One of Prince Mohammed's top aides, Saud al-Qahtani, featured prominently in them throughout, sources said.

Erdogan accused Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor, who was sent to Istanbul last month as part of a joint probe, of employing "delaying tactics".

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Erdogan did not repeat on Saturday his accusation that the operation was ordered by Saudi leaders.

Unconfirmed reports of the contents of gruesome tape allege that Khashoggi was grabbed, drugged and dismembered on a tape with a bone saw. "Saudi Arabia must respond to our good will, and be just, and clear themselves of this stain", Erdogan said. "The prosecutor came to Turkey to make excuses, make things hard", he said.

This has led investigators to believe that Khashoggi's remains were disposed of as liquid.

Turkish media had reported earlier in the week - again, always citing anonymous sources - that trace amounts of acid had been discovered in a well at the Saudi consulate property in Istanbul, and in the sewer system around it.

And on Monday, a Turkish official said Saudi Arabia sent two experts to Istanbul with the specific aim of covering up evidence after the murder.

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The two leaders also warned against further destabilisation of the Middle East as a result of the affair and expressed the hope that it could create an opportunity for a resolution to the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

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