Saudi Arabia expresses 'regret and pain' over journalist's murder
07 November, 2018, 10:05 | Author: Donnie King
Saudi Arabia sent a two-man "clean-up team" to erase evidence of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing a week after he disappeared at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish official said on Monday, calling it a sign top Saudi officials knew of the crime.
Erdogan said "the 15-man team did not come to Turkey on their own, they came on orders".
The Saudi officials tried to rip out a camera inside the Istanbul consulate on October 2, the day Khashoggi disappeared, and days later tampered with cameras at a police security booth in the building, Al-Jazeera reported, citing Turkish media.
Saudi officials initially insisted that Khashoggi had left the consulate, then said he died in an unplanned "rogue operation".
Khashoggi's sons issued an emotional appeal on Monday for the return of their father's body.
Analysts say Saudi authorities appear to be trying to defuse the crisis by shoring up support from within the royal family. The country's prosecutor stated that the journalist was killed by "strangulation" and that his body was "cut into pieces" after the murder. The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to prod Saudi leaders to acknowledge what he says is their role in the death.
It is alleged that the powerful heir to the throne must have at a minimum been aware of the plan to kill Khashoggi, who had become increasingly critical of the Saudi royal family since moving to the United States in self-imposed exile in 2017.
Khashoggi's body has not been recovered, and Saudi authorities are conducting an official investigation.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was allegedly killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
But even as global powers put pressure on the Crown Prince to get to the bottom of Khashoggi's murder, it's unlikely to hurt his ascension to the throne, said Neil Quilliam, who directs the Future Dynamics in the Gulf project at the Chatham House think tank in London.
But global outcry over the murder of Mr Khashoggi last month put Softbank's close relationship with Saudi Arabia in focus.
"I very much hope that what happened to him wasn't painful, or that he had a quick death without suffering", said 33-year-old Abdullah.
Parts of his body, including his face, were found in the Saudi Consul general's garden located 500 metres away from the consulate building in Turkey.
However, Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire businessman, said on Sunday that an official investigation into the death would exonerate the country's leadership.
"A thorough, conclusive and transparent investigation carried out in accordance with due process with results made public is essential".
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Critics have accused Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman , of being involved in the journalist's killing. The Saudi public prosecutor found last week, however, that Khashoggi's murder had been orchestrated in advance.
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