Erdogan says Khashoggi killing ordered by highest level of Saudi govt

Prince Mohammed urged the White House to preserve the US-Saudi alliance. /AGENCIES

The kingdom has faced intensifying global pressure to be transparent about the death of Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Crown Prince Mohammed told Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, and John Bolton, the president's national security advisor, that Mr Khashoggi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the Washington Post.

Khashoggi was killed after visiting the Istanbul consulate on October 2, Saudi officials have acknowledged.

Scrutiny and suspicion have fallen on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is known for taking direct measures against those who oppose him.

The phone call is reported to have taken place on 9 October, a week after Khashoggi disappeared.

Media captionHow has the death of Jamal Khashoggi impacted the war in Yemen? Saudi Arabia since then announced a full investigation into the killing.

"Everybody is milking this", said Maha Yahya, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.

Istanbul's prosecutor confirmed on Wednesday that the writer had been strangled. While the Kingdom is restrictive and controversial in various and serious respects, it has under the Crown Prince begun to undergo reform and professed the desire to change in profound ways.

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Turkey - which according to the Committee to Protect Journalists was the world's leading jailer of journalists in 2017 - has emerged as an unlikely advocate for truth over Khashoggi's killing, which it has used to pressure regional rival Saudi Arabia.

The Post also reported that bin Salman, in conversations with the White House, has described Khashoggi as "a unsafe Islamist", claiming he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Saudi public prosecutor found last week, however, that Khashoggi's murder had been orchestrated in advance.

Some claimed the body was wrapped up in a rug to be transported from the scene, while others said the hit squad carried the dismembered corpse away in several bags.

Interested in Jamal Khashoggi?

Recalling that more than 70 years of US-Saudi ties survived previous crises, Prince Turki said: "Nowadays, this relationship is once again threatened". She termed the Trump administration "devoid of moral foundation".

"Today I am inviting the global community to take serious and practical steps to reveal the truth and to prosecute those involved in a court of law". He entered the consulate to sort out documents for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

"Though Riyadh has detained 18 suspects, it is deeply concerning that no action has been taken against the Saudi consul general, who lied through his teeth to the media and fled Turkey shortly afterward", Erdogan's op-ed continues.

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