News ID: 233863
Published: 0236 GMT November 05, 2018

Saudi sent experts to cover up Khashoggi murder: Turkey

Saudi sent experts to cover up Khashoggi murder: Turkey
AFP

Saudi Arabia sent two experts to Istanbul with the specific aim of covering up evidence after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish official said on Monday.

More than a month after the Saudi royal-insider-turned critic was killed inside the mission on October 2, Turkey has still yet to recover the remains amid claims that his body was dissolved in acid, AFP wrote.

The killing of the 59-year-old has severely dented the kingdom's image in the West and put powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the defensive.

"We believe that the two individuals came to Turkey for the sole purpose of covering up evidence of Jamal Khashoggi's murder before the Turkish police were allowed to search the premises," a senior Turkish official said, asking not to be named.

The official confirmed a report in the Sabah newspaper saying that chemicals expert Ahmad Abdulaziz al-Janobi and toxicology expert Khaled Yahya al-Zahrani were among a team sent from Saudi Arabia purportedly to investigate the murder last month.

The report said they visited the consulate every day from their arrival on October 11 until October 17. Saudi Arabia only allowed Turkish police to finally search the consulate on October 15.

After weeks of allegations in pro-government media, Turkey's chief prosecutor last week confirmed Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate and the body was dismembered.

But despite intensive searches by Turkish police, there is still no trace of his remains.

Turkey's allegation of the deployment of a "clean-up" team came after Yasin Aktay, an advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hinted Friday that the body may even have been destroyed in acid.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay told the official Anadolu news agency Monday that "all those reports should be investigated".

In an editorial published in The Washington Post Friday, Erdogan said it came from "the highest levels" of the Saudi government, while he did "not believe for a second" that Saudi's King Salman had ordered the crime.

Turkish media have pointed the finger at powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and analysts have said Ankara is keen to have the heir sidelined from the nexus of power in Riyadh.

"Yes, a murder was committed and it was premeditated. Who gave the command for this murder to be carried out on Turkish soil?" Oktay echoed the president's question in Monday's interview.

However, Erdogan has yet to directly accuse Prince Mohammed, who has condemned the murder "a repulsive incident".

 

 

 

   
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