Saudi Arabia says Turkish evidence shows planned killing

Larry Hoffman
October 28, 2018

Saudi Arabia - seen as the linchpin of the Trump administration's strategy to counter Iran's influence in the Middle East - is a top buyer of US military equipment.

Of the almost two dozen Saudis affected by the State Department's decision, most already have visas, and their documents are being revoked, The Washington Post reported.

Saudi Arabia's Council of Ministers further went on record on state TV on Tuesday to outline that the kingdom had "indicated" its "keenness to hold accountable those who failed in their duties" in Khashoggi's death.

Trump said any USA response should not involve scrapping billions of dollars in arms sales, which would hurt US defence industries and eliminate U.S.jobs.

The Turkish and Saudi versions of Khashoggi's slaying - neither of which is on the record from the officials' governments - do not match.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 23, 2018.

After decades of Saudi Arabia buying USA weapons and enjoying Washington's protection, Grappo doubted Saudi Arabia could easily switch to another supplier such as Russian Federation or China.

Another key claim made by Turkish media is that there is an audio tape - recorded by means not made clear - of the moments of Khashoggi's death, which provides conclusive proof he was killed.

CIA Director Gina Haspel is among the intelligence officials who are in Turkey to review the case, according to a USA official.

A friend of the Khashoggi family told The Associated Press that Salah has been under a travel ban since previous year.

Khashoggi was reported missing after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul 2 October but failed to return.

"We will prove to the world that the two governments (Saudi and Turkish) are cooperating to punish any criminal, any culprit and at the end justice will prevail", Prince Mohammed said to applause. "It was carried out poorly, and the cover-up was one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Dmitriev likened the investigation into Khashoggi's killing to recent accusations levelled against Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain and cyber-attacks around the world. "The American people want answers, and we will demand that those answers are forthcoming". "From the leadership on down, we're very upset at what has happened", he added.

The official was speaking before Saudi authorities admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate, and it was unclear if the case would have any effect on the deal. But the president, who has made USA ties to Saudi Arabia pivotal to his foreign policy, again said on Tuesday that top Saudi leaders denied any involvement in Khashoggi's killing and instead, "This was at a lower level".

"The Public Prosecution received information from the Turkish side through the Joint Working Team between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Turkey indicates that the suspects in the incident had committed their act with a premeditated intention", the statement read. Turkish officials have told AP that investigators were looking into the possibility that the journalist's remains may have been hidden at those two locations.

A 15-person team made up of senior Saudi officials meticulously planned the operation before his "gruesome" murder, including the use of a body double to falsely suggest Khashoggi had left the building alive, Mr Erdogan said.

"The first thing they did is to remove the hard disk in the camera system of the consulate", Erdogan said. If Khashoggi refused, an official said, the next step was to drug him with a tranquilizer and take him to a safe house in Istanbul for 48 hours.

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