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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Turkey Presses Saudi Arabia to Reveal Who Sent Journalist's Killers

By VOA News October 30, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged Saudi Arabia to reveal who gave the order to have Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament, Erdogan said the investigation into Khashoggi's killing should be completed swiftly.

He said there was no point in making excuses.

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 Saudi suspects detained in Saudi Arabia in the Oct. 2 killing of Khashoggi. It is also seeking Saudi Arabia's help in locating the slain journalist's body, which so far has not been found.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, meanwhile, called on Turkish and Saudi authorities to launch an "independent and impartial" investigation into what she called a "shockingly brazen crime."

"But given the information that such high-level officials in Saudi Arabia were apparently involved, and it took place in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia, the bar must be set very high to ensure meaningful accountability and justice," she said.

During a memorial service in London late Monday, Khashoggi's fiancee, Turkish national Hatice Cengiz, said she was "disappointed in the leadership of many countries" in response to Khashoggi's killing this month in Istanbul. She called on U.S. President Donald Trump to "help reveal the truth" about his death at the hands of agents deployed by the kingdom.

Khashoggi was an exiled journalist who wrote several opinion columns for The Washington Post that were critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler.

Cengiz said Trump "should not pave the way for a cover-up" of Khashoggi's death. "Let's not let money taint our conscience and compromise our values."

Trump has called Khashoggi's disappearance and death "one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups," but has also said the U.S. should not be too critical of the regime because of a pending multibillion-dollar arms deal with Riyadh.

Khashoggi had gone into the Saudi Consulate in the Turkish capital on Oct. 2 to obtain paperwork he needed for his planned marriage to Cengiz – who waited for him outside the consulate – but was never seen again.

After numerous shifting explanations, the kingdom finally admitted that Khashoggi was killed by a team of 15 agents inside the consulate.

Saudi Arabia has arrested 18 officials in connection with the plot to kill Khashoggi, while U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has revoked the visas of Saudi officials believed to have taken part in the killing.

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