Erdogan says Saudis planned murder of Jamal Khashoggi

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned by the Saudis.

Erdogan said Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, “was murdered in a ferocious manner” in a “planned incident,” laying out a timeline of events from the moment Saudis arrived in Istanbul.

“The information obtained so far shows that Khashoggi was murdered in a ferocious manner,” Erdogan said. “To try and hide such a ferocious murder would be an insult to the conscience of humanity.”

The 18 individual Saudi officials identified as being involved in Khashoggi’s death were the same that a Turkish investigation found to be responsible, Erdogan said.

The Turkish president didn’t mention the audio recording Turkish media said had recorded Khashoggi’s murder. He also didn’t present any physical evidence from the investigation as he addressed Parliament on Tuesday.

Erdogan said Saudi Arabia was obligated to reveal the identity of everyone involved and called for the prosecution of those responsible to take place in Turkey.

“I will take this opportunity to make a call. I am calling on the king of Saudi Arabia and the highest level of Saudi administration,” Erdogan said. “The incident occurred in Istanbul, so this team of 15 and three people, 18 people, should be tried in Istanbul.

“This is my proposition.”

Khashoggi first went missing on Oct. 2 after he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect documents he needed in order to marry his fiancé, Hatice Cengiz. Saudi officials first denied any involvement in his disappearance, saying he had exited the consulate through the back door.

Exactly what happened inside the consulate is still unclear.

On Friday, more than two weeks after Khashoggi’s disappearance, an investigation by Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor revealed that Khashoggi had died inside the consulate after he met with a group of 15 individuals, resulting in a physical altercation that led to his death.

Over the weekend, a Saudi official told ABC News that Khashoggi died when he was “placed in a chokehold position” to stop him from leaving the consulate and calling for help.

On Monday, CNN received surveillance videos from a senior Turkish official that showed a member of the 15-person Saudi squad dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes the same day the journalist went missing.

Then, a Saudi official told ABC News that the team was acting on orders from the Saudis intelligence agency GIP. According to the official, the mission involved taking Khashoggi to a safe house for 48 hours in order to pressure him to return to Saudi Arabia.

President Donald Trump on Monday told reporters he wasn’t satisfied with the Saudis’ response to Khashoggi’s death, adding, “I’m not satisfied with what I’ve heard.”

Trump, however, continued to defend U.S.-Saudi economic relations.

“I don’t want to lose all of that investment that’s being made in our country,” the president added.

CIA Director Gina Haspel headed to Turkey on Monday to address the investigation of Khashoggi’s death, two sources confirmed to ABC News.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on Monday to discuss American-Saudi strategic partnerships, according to the Saudi Press Agency. Saudi Arabia has said that the Crown Prince was not implicated in the mission against Khashoggi.

While addressing the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan also condemned the conflicting reports that have emerged surrounding Khashoggi’s killing.

“Why were many conflicting announcements made? Why is the body of a person who has been murdered still not found?” Erdogan said. “We want answers to these questions.”

This is a developing story. Check back soon for updates.

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