Erdogan tells Saudi officials to prove missing journalist left consulate in Turkey
09 October, 2018, 21:55 | Author: Myra Gill
Turkish authorities are examining motorway cameras in the search for a black van they believe carried the body of JamalKhashoggi from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week - one of six cars investigators say belonged to a Saudi hit squad thought to be behind the suspected murder of the dissident journalist.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged the Saudis to back up their claim that Khashoggi left the consulate.
Khashoggi is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks and used to advise Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States and Britain. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying "he has left", Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest, where he is on an official visit. Saudi Arabia claimed that Khashoggi had left the embassy without anyone noticing.
Earlier on Tuesday, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt met the Saudi ambassador, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, to voice the UK's concern about the disappearance Mr Khashoggi.
"We have to get an outcome from this investigation as soon as possible. It is (the duty) of the consulate officials", Erdogan said during a visit to Hungary.
The former government adviser, who turns 60 on October 13, has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since a year ago to avoid possible arrest.
A statement on Sunday by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited a diplomatic officer who categorically denied "these baseless allegations, and expressed his doubt that they came from Turkish officials that are informed of the investigation or are authorised to comment on the issue".
Khashoggi, 59, had a long career as a senior journalist in Saudi Arabia and also as an adviser to top officials.
While the Turkish authorities seem confident in their assessment that Khashoggi was indeed murdered, the U.S. administration, while exercising abundant discretion and caution, has said that they are monitoring the developments in Turkey and are yet, not in a position to confirm the death.
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Saudi Arabia calls the accusation "baseless", but has also offered nothing to prove he ever left the building. "I don't like hearing about it", Trump told reporters on Monday. "God willing, we will not be faced with a situation we do not want".
He said police were examining CCTV footage of entrances and exits at the consulate and Istanbul airport.
Salah Khashoggi, the eldest son of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, who has gone missing in the Turkish city of Istanbul since Tuesday, has denounced attempts by foreign parties to politicize the disappearance of his father, which he called totally unacceptable. But Turkish police allege Mr Khashoggi was tortured and killed by a team flown in from the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia's consul in Istanbul opened his mission to Reuters on Saturday in an effort to show that Khashoggi was not on the premises.
"If reports of his death and the extraordinary circumstances leading up to it are true, this is truly shocking", she said.
Khashoggi was right about Saudi repression.
One of the two planes that transported 15 Saudis was searched by Turkish authorities before leaving Turkey for Dubai. Its passengers went straight to the consulate and then left in the evening for Egypt.
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