Turkey's Erdogan calls Khashoggi death 'savage murder'

Saudi agent seen on video leaving consulate wearing missing journalist's clothing

One figure, suspected of having links to Khashoggi's death, was in attendance: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

As Saudi Arabia's controversial Future Investment Initiative opened Tuesday in Riyadh, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said there is strong evidence missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "savagely murdered" in a "planned operation".

It's previously been reported that a 15-member team traveled from Saudi Arabia to Turkey just before Khashoggi disappeared at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Mr Erdogan said the killing was planned from when Mr Khashoggi, 59, first went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 28 September to obtain documents necessary for his marriage.

"This brutal murder of a journalist, of an innocent man, of a dissident will not go without an American response and, I expect, without an worldwide response", Pence said.

However, Erdogan did not produce the secret audio recordings that some officials have said provide proof of how Khashoggi was killed. Outcry at the shifting plot line continued to grow after Saudi state media claimed on Saturday that Khashoggi was strangled to death amid a fistfight with 15 Saudi operatives.

A number of Saudi nationals have since been arrested, while deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, a senior aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have been dismissed, state TV reported.

But the Saudi dismissals paradoxically confirm that without MBS's knowledge and approval, the murder of Khashoggi would have been unlikely.

The Turkish leader has demanded the kingdom reveal the identities of all involved in the killing, regardless of rank. Erdogan called for Saudi Arabia to share facts about the case; he also suggested the suspects should be tried in Turkey.

Despite those changes in the Saudis' story, the Trump administration has consistently defended the USA relationship with Saudi Arabia as a "strong partnership" based on "shared strategic interests", as Pompeo said. Erdogan asked. "We are seeking answers to this".

CIA Director Gina Haskell has been sent to Turkey to meet with investigators probing Khashoggi's murder, Pence said.

Trump also told reporters that he felt Erdogan was "pretty rough" on Saudi Arabia in his remarks in parliament on Tuesday, after the Turkish president repeatedly called the death of the former Washington Post writer a murder throughout his speech.

Since acknowledging Friday that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, Saudi Arabia's government has struggled to explain why an autopsy and forensics expert was part of the team if there was no plan to kill Khashoggi.

On Monday, Saudi Arabian officials said they do not know details of how dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in their consulate in Istanbul or where his body was. "To cover up such savagery would hurt the human conscience".

Trump allies and advisers have encouraged him to take a tougher stance against the oil-rich monarchy, saying that Congress would fill the vacuum and punish Saudi Arabia either way.

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