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Jamal Khashoggi’s Death Planned By Saudi Officials, Says Erdogan

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The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,  has said that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi was “a political murder”.

According to him, the murder was planned in advance by Saudi operatives as he demanded that “the person who gave the order” be held accountable.

In his first major speech since the journalist disappeared, Erdogan said the murder of the Washington Post columnist was pre-meditated and that several members of the so-called hit squad arrived in Istanbul ahead of Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance to scope out a forest.

Mr Erdogan said Turkey would not accept Saudi Arabia’s explanation that the killing was a botched operation carried out by rogue intelligence officials and implied he believed it was ordered by senior leaders.

“The information obtained so far and the evidence found shows that Khashoggi was murdered in a ferocious manner,” Erdogan told MPs in Ankara.

“Leaving some security and intelligence forces holding the bag will not satisfy us or the international community,” he said. “The human consciousness will not be satisfied until all those – from the person who gave the order to those who carried it out – are brought to account.”

Mr Erdogan said he wanted the 18 Saudi men who have been arrested for the murder to be extradited to Turkey to face charges, a challenge to the Saudi government which has said they will be tried in Saudi courts.

The Turkish president’s speech adds to pressure on Riyadh, which has been facing a wave of international scepticism since it announced over the weekend that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, was not involved in the killing.

Mr Erdogan made no mention of the crown prince in his speech but said that Saudi Arabia’s own investigation would not be enough.

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