By SUZAN FRASER , Associated Press
Top Turkish officials have said Turkey would clarify exactly what happened to Khashoggi and a stream of leaks to national and international media has increased pressure on Saudi Arabia, which is hosting an investment conference this week that many dignitaries have decided to skip because of the scandal. After initially denying any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, the kingdom gave a new story on Saturday, saying he died in a “fistfight.”
Saudi Arabia said 18 Saudis were arrested and that several top intelligence officials were fired over the killing, but critics alleged that the punishment was designed to absolve Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s heir-apparent, of any responsibility.
Erdogan has promised the case “will be revealed in all its nakedness” in a speech to ruling party members around midday on Tuesday.
Turkey’s foreign minister, meanwhile, said his country would cooperate with international bodies if they were to launch an independent probe into the Khashoggi’s killing.
In an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Mevlut Cavusoglu also said Turkey has not shared evidence concerning his death at the Saudi consulate with any country but added that there may have been “an exchange of views between intelligence organizations.”
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he’s not satisfied with the explanations he’s heard about the killing of Khashoggi and is awaiting reports from U.S. personnel returning from the region.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it. We have people over in Saudi Arabia now. We have top intelligence people in Turkey. They’re coming back either tonight or tomorrow,” Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a political rally in Texas.
A high-profile economic forum in Saudi Arabia began Tuesday in Riyadh, the kingdom’s first major event on the world stage since Khashoggi’s killing. The Future Investment Initiative forum, the brainchild of Prince Mohammed, is aimed at drawing more foreign investment into the kingdom and helping create desperately needed jobs for its youthful population.
Prince Mohammed was not at the forum when it started.
On Monday, leaked surveillance video showed a man strolling out of the diplomatic post hours after Khashoggi disappeared into the consulate, apparently wearing the columnist’s clothes as part of a macabre deception to sow confusion over his fate.