Erdogan claims tapes of Khashoggi killing shared with Saudi, US and others

Turkish president tells of existence of recordings from Saudi consulate

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech as he attends the parliamentary group meeting of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on November 6, 2018 in Ankara, Turkey.    / AFP / ADEM ALTAN
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Turkey claims to have shared recordings linked to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with Saudi Arabia, the United States and other western countries.

On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "We gave the recordings, we gave them to Saudi Arabia, we gave them to Washington, to the Germans, to the French, to the English."

Mr Erdogan's statement comes after unsubstantiated reports that Turkish authorities had audio recordings of what transpired after Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, the last time he was seen alive. His body has not been found.

"They also listened to the conversations and they know," Mr Erdogan said in a televised speech.

Turkey has not said how it obtained the recordings.

Turkish officials reportedly played the tapes for CIA director Gina Haspel when she visited Turkey late last month but US officials have not commented on her briefing with President Donald Trump after her return to Washington.

Saudi Arabia has said Khashoggi was murdered in an unauthorised operation. Six Saudi officials were dismissed over the killing and 18 people arrested.

Saudi chief prosecutor Mojeb Al Saud travelled to Turkey in late October to discuss the investigation but Mr Erdogan later accused Saudi authorities of refusing to answer questions about the killing, such as who ordered it, the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body, and the identity of a "local collaborator" alleged to have helped dispose of it.

On Saturday, Mr Erdogan called on Saudi Arabia to rid itself of the "stain" by co-operating with Turkey over the investigation.

Turkey claims a 15-member team was sent to kill Khashoggi. Mr Erdogan said it knew who was behind his death and the location of the journalist's remains.

Saudi Arabia has rejected Turkish requests to hand over the arrested suspects.


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