Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the United States for not taking a tougher position against Saudi Arabia over the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and demanded answers from the monarchial regime.
In an interview with state broadcaster TRT on Sunday, he said: “I cannot understand America’s silence when such a horrific attack took place, and even after members of the CIA listened to the recordings we provided.”
“We want everything to be clarified because there is an atrocity, there is a murder,” he added, calling the killing “not an ordinary one.”
Erdogan said that the killing was planned by 22 people. “What they [Saudi Arabia] say is ’22 people are arrested now’. Despite this, we have some information. They might have taken some of them out. They might be victims of traffic accidents. Because the system there is working very weird,” he said.
In January, a trial was started in the Arabian capital, Riyadh of 11 defendants. However, according to UN, the trial lacks credibility.
Recently, Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions went on a week long trip to Turkey for assimilating information on the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi’s killing.
It is understood that Callamard heard the audio recordings of the last moments of Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. He was killed on October 2 after he entered the Istanbul Saudi consulate to collect documents regarding his marriage to his Turkish fiancee.
According to U.S intelligence agencies, Khashoggi’s killing was reportedly ordered by the Crown Prince. His body has not yet been found.
Earlier in December, the Senate passed a bill that placed the blame of the killing on MBS and had ordered the US military to cease all assistance to the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
US President Donald Trump repetitively stated that there was no definitive evidence connecting MBS with the crime.
Saudi Arabia, initially giving contradictory statements about Khashoggis whereabouts, later admitted he was killed inside its consulate and his body was dismembered. With regards to the connection between MBS and the killing, stated that they had no knowledge and called it the result of a ‘rogue operation’.
(With inputs from Al-Jazeera)