Erdogan: Saudi officials, others heard tapes of the death of the writer

ANKARA, Turkey – Officials from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and the UK have heard audio recordings of the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the Turkish President said on Saturday in the country's first public recognition Existence of bands of annihilation.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that Saudi Arabia must "act fairly" and release those responsible for the assassination of the Washington Post journalist on October 2 to get rid of the "suspicion".

"We gave them the ribbons. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to America, to the Germans, to France, to all the English, "said Erdogan, before going to Paris to attend celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

"They (Saudi officials) also heard the talks and they know it. This does not have to be distorted. You know for sure who is among the 15 murderers or murderers, "he said.

He referred to a suspected 15-member murder squad, which Turkey believes should kill Khashoggi at the consulate, where he arrived to obtain papers to marry his Turkish fiancé.

CIA director Gina Haspel, who visited Turkey last month for information about the investigation, is said to have heard the sound recordings of the murder. The existence of the recordings has been leaked to the media, but not yet confirmed openly.

Turkey says Khashoggi, who criticized Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was strangled and dismembered as part of a premeditated murder at the consulate. According to media reports, his body may have been chemically dissolved.

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia for trial in Turkey. These include the 15 members of the alleged murder squad.

Saudi Arabia had insisted weeks after Khashoggi's disappearance that he had left the consulate before changing accounts and said he had died in a brawl.

Last month, Saudi Arabia admitted that Turkish evidence suggests that Khashoggi's killing was deliberate, shifting his explanation into an obvious attempt to mitigate international outrage over death.

Saudi officials refer to the murder as a rogue operation carried out by Saudi agents who have exceeded their authority. However, some of the perpetrators are in the vicinity of the Crown Prince, including a member of the Foreign Corps of Princes, who was seen at the consulate before Khashoggi's death.

Erdogan accused Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor, who was sent to Istanbul in a joint investigation last month, to use "delaying tactics".

"Saudi Arabia must accept that (the murderer) is under 18 and has to get rid of the suspicion by responding to Turkey's goodwill and acting fairly," Erdogan said.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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