Erdogan: Khashoggi kill order came from 'highest levels' of Saudi govt

Erdogan: Khashoggi kill order came from 'highest levels' of Saudi govt

Erdogan: Khashoggi kill order came from 'highest levels' of Saudi govt

The body of slain reporter Jamal Khashoggi was cut up and dissolved in acid after he was killed at a Saudi consulate in Turkey a month ago, an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

They include 15 members of an alleged Saudi "hit squad" that Turkey says was sent to Istanbul to kill The Washington Post columnist who had written critically of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The New York Times, quoting two people familiar with the matter, reported Friday that White House officials knew from an October 9 phone call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he considered Khashoggi a unsafe Islamist, and therefore knew the Saudi prince had a potential motive for the killing.

The kingdom has faced a torrent of global condemnation over the murder of Khashoggi, upending the young crown prince's image as a reformer on the worldwide stage.

Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul for marriage formalities as his fiancee waited outside. "We can't ignore this because we want to sell more weapons", said Ahmed Bedier of United Voices for America, a USA -based civil society group.

The killing inside Istanbul consulate has severely tarnished Saudi Arabia's reputation.

The attempt to criticise Khashoggi in private stands in contrast to the Saudi government's later public statements decrying his death as a "terrible mistake" and "terrible tragedy", the sources said.

A Turkish official has previously told The Post that "biological evidence" found in the consulate garden indicated the body was likely disposed of near the murder scene.

Aktay's statement comes after the first official acknowledgement from the Istanbul chief prosecutor, Irfan Fidan, on Wednesday that Khashoggi's body was "dismembered and destroyed" after his death at the hands of a team of Saudi officials who flew in from Riyadh to kill him.

"Jamal Khashoggi was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood".

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is among the wealthiest, most powerful, and most important nations in the Middle East, in all of history", the evangelical group's spokesman Johnnie Moore said.

Activists from the London-based NGO temporarily erected a mock street sign in front of the diplomatic compound, in the British capital's wealthy Mayfair district, in a symbolic gesture honoring Jamal Khashoggi.

But the de facto Israel-Saudi Arabia alliance is only mentioned in passing.

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee, has written in the Washington Post, calling on the global community to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have since arrested 18 suspects who, they say, will be prosecuted there.

"The killing of Khashoggi is inexplicable", he wrote.

Other lawmakers urged the United States not to forsake justice for Khashoggi, in the interest of preserving trade interests with Saudi Arabia.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a video message for the "International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists", marked annually on November 2, called the killing of journalists "outrageous".

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