Turkey claims it has proof Saudi writer was killed

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Canada & World - SUZAN FRASER

ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkey’s gov­ern­ment has told U.S. of­fi­cials it has au­dio and video proof that miss­ing Saudi Ara­bian writer Ja­mal Khashoggi was killed and dis­mem­bered in the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, the Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported Fri­day.

The news­pa­per, for which Khashoggi is a colum­nist, cited anony­mous of­fi­cials as say­ing the record­ings show a Saudi se­cu­rity team de­tained the writer when he went to the con­sulate on Oct. 2 to pick up a doc­u­ment for his up­com­ing wed­ding.

The As­so­ci­ated Press was not im­me­di­ately able to con­firm the re­port and Turk­ish of­fi­cials would not com­ment.

Mean­while, a del­e­ga­tion from Saudi Ara­bia ar­rived in Turkey Fri­day as part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the writer’s dis­ap­pear­ance, a For­eign Min­istry of­fi­cial said.

Saudi Ara­bia has called the al­le­ga­tion it ab­ducted or harmed Khashoggi “base­less.” How­ever, it has of­fered no ev­i­dence to sup­port its claim he left the con­sulate and van­ished, de­spite his fi­ancée wait­ing out­side.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said the del­e­ga­tion would hold talks with Turk­ish of­fi­cials over the week­end. It did not pro­vide fur­ther de­tails.

On Thurs­day, Turk­ish pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey and Saudi Ara­bia would form a “joint work­ing group” to look into Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

In a state­ment posted on Twit­ter, Saudi Ara­bia wel­comed Turkey’s ap­proval of the joint work­ing group. The Saudi state­ment said the king­dom is keen “to sus­tain the se­cu­rity and safety of its cit­i­zenry, wher­ever they might hap­pen to be.”

Amid grow­ing con­cern over Khashoggi’s fate, French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron said his coun­try wanted to know “the whole truth” about the writer’s dis­ap­pear­ance, call­ing the early de­tails about the case “very wor­ry­ing.”

Macron said “I’m wait­ing for the truth and com­plete clar­ity to be made” since the mat­ter is “very se­ri­ous.”

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