'Spare no-one,' Erdogan urges Saudi prosecutor in Khashoggi case

'Spare no-one,' Erdogan urges Saudi prosecutor in Khashoggi case
"Now we have to solve this case. No need to prevaricate, it makes no sense to try to save certain people," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara.

3 min read
30 October, 2018
Erodgan advised the Saudi prosecutor not to "spare" any individuals [Getty]

Turkey’s president called on Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor to find out who ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and not spare "certain people" in his investigation.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan applied pressure on the head of the Saudi investigation, Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb, who arrived in Turkey this week and met twice with Istanbul chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan.

"Who sent these 15 people? As Saudi public prosecutor, you have to ask that question, so you can reveal it," Erdogan said, referring to the 15-man team suspected of being behind the hit. 

"Now we have to solve this case. No need to prevaricate, it makes no sense to try to save certain people," he told reporters in Ankara. 

Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain paperwork ahead of his upcoming wedding. His body has not yet been found.

The Washington Post contributor, who had criticised the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017.

After Turkish media published gruesome reports of torture and decapitation, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi, a former insider turned critic, was killed inside the consulate. 

Riyadh has detained 18 suspects as it seeks to draw a line under the crisis, which has damaged the kingdom's reputation abroad.

After denying any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi for almost three weeks, Saudi authorities have now accepted that the killing was "premeditated".

The Istanbul prosecutor's office last week prepared a written request for the extradition of the 18 suspects "involved in the premeditated murder", the justice ministry said, but Riyadh rejected Ankara's request.

Erdogan also urged Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to explain who the "local co-conspirators" were that were reportedly given Khashoggi's body after his death.

"Again either the Saudi foreign minister or the 18 suspects must explain who the local co-conspirators are. Let's know who this co-conspirator is, we can shed further light. We cannot let this subject end mid-way." 

Many international observers have called for an independent investigation into the murder as the both the Saudi and Turkish probes have raised eyebrows over their transparency. This is especially so in the Saudi case, as the order for Khashoggi's killing is suspected to have come from Mohammed bin Salman himself, who has a strong hand over the intelligence services.

The case has sparked a fresh PR crisis for the oil-rich Gulf nation, which is seeking to draw a line under the case as Western powers demand answers.

Recent reports speculate the journalist may have been asassinated for preparing a report about the planned use of chemical weapons by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Trump has called the case "one of the worst cover-ups in history", but warned against halting a Saudi arms deal to increase the pressure, saying it would harm US jobs.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab