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Erdogan: Saudi officials, others heard tapes of writer death

AP  |  Ankara 

Officials from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, and Britain have listened to audio recordings related to the killing of at the in Istanbul, Turkey's said Saturday, in the first public acknowledgement of the existence of tapes of the slaying.

also told reporters that had to "act fairly" and disclose those responsible for the October 2 killing of to rid itself of "suspicion."

"We gave them the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to America, to the Germans, the French, to the British, to all of them," Erdogan said before departing for to attend ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

"They (Saudi officials) also listened to the conversations and they know. There is no need to distort this. They know for certain who among the 15 is the killer or are the killers," he said.

He was referring to an alleged 15-member assassination squad that believes was sent to kill at the consulate where he had arrived to obtain papers to marry his Turkish fiancee.

CIA Gina Haspel, who visited last month for information on the investigation, is reported to have heard the audio recordings of the killing. The existence of the recordings was leaked to the media but never openly confirmed until now.

says Khashoggi, who was critical of Saudi Crown Mohammed bin Salman, was strangled and dismembered at the consulate as part of a premeditated killing. have suggested that his body could have been chemically dissolved.

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 suspects who have been detained in Saudi Arabia, so they can be put on trial in Turkey. They include the 15 members of the alleged assassination squad.

had insisted for weeks after disappeared that he had walked out of the consulate, before changing its account to say he died in a brawl.

Last month, acknowledged that Turkish evidence indicates that Khashoggi's killing was premeditated, shifting its explanation in an apparent effort to ease international outrage over the death.

Saudi officials characterise the killing as a rogue operation carried out by Saudi agents who exceeded their authority. Yet some of those implicated in the killing are close to the crown prince, including a member of the prince's entourage on foreign trips who was seen at the consulate before Khashoggi's slaying.

Erdogan accused Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor, who was sent to last month as part of a joint probe, of employing "delaying tactics." "Saudi Arabia needs to accept that (the killer) is among the 18 and needs to get rid of the suspicion by responding to Turkey's good will and acting fairly," Erdogan said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 21:35 IST
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