Istanbul: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday asked Saudi Arabia to disclose the location of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s body and demanded the extradition of the 18 suspects involved in his murder.
Erdogan confirmed that Saudi’s top prosecutor will arrive in Istanbul on Sunday to meet with his Turkish counterpart, asserting that all suspects should be prosecuted in his country, CNN reported.
“Whatever happened, it comes down to these 18 persons. If you are determined, if you want to remove the suspicion and clear the air, these 18 persons are the bottom line to this,” Erdogan said while speaking to the provincial heads of his ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara.
“The incident took place in Istanbul. So, hand them to us, and let us judge them,” said the Turkish President.
“It is clear that the judicial system in Turkey is better equipped to genuinely serve the cause of justice in this case,” a Turkish official told CNN. The official further stated that the trial will be more transparent to the world than one in Saudi.
The media chief of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service were among the five high-ranking Saudi officials to be sacked after the country admitted Khashoggi’s death on October 2, which resulted in the arrest of 18 people.
Khashoggi had gone to the Saudi consulate to collect papers which would allow him to get married to his fiancee on the ill-fated day, after which he was reported missing by his fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the building for him to re-emerge.
On Friday, Cengiz told Turkish broadcaster Haberturk that Khashoggi was sceptical of going to the Saudi consulate. “Of course, he did not want to go. He thought Turkey is a safe country and if he would be held or interrogated, this issue would be swiftly solved,” Cengiz said.
Earlier, Saudi’s Attorney General Shaikh Suood bin Abdullah Al Mo’jab confirmed that the journalist’s killing was pre-meditated. The report also claims that Khashoggi was murdered by a group of men who had close relations with the Saudi’s crown prince.