Turkey expands probe into Saudi journalist murder

Turkey expands probe into Saudi journalist murder

ANAKARA - Turkish prosecutors have summoned more witnesses to testify as part of the investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, local television reported Sunday.

Twenty-five more people will be quizzed as witnesses, the private NTV broadcaster said, without providing any further details.

On Friday, prosecutors questioned staff members of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul inside Istanbul s main courthouse, including the consulate driver, technicians and accountants.

Early on Saturday Saudi Arabia finally admitted that Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi leadership and a Washington Post contributor, was killed inside the kingdom s Istanbul consulate.

For more than two weeks they had insisted that he left the building alive.

Turkish police and prosecutors this week searched both the consulate and the consul s residence in Istanbul, as well as a large forest in the city, hunting for his body.

Turkish media outlets have reported that the authorities here have audio tapes in which Khashoggi s alleged killers tortured him by cutting his fingers off before his decapitation.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top government figures have remained cautious in their public statements, stopping short of pinning the blame on Saudi Arabia and referring instead to the prosecutors investigation.

After the Saudi admission on Saturday, Omer Celik, spokesman for Erdogan s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said Ankara was not putting the blame on anyone in advance.

But they would not accept any cover-up, he added. "Turkey will reveal whatever had happened. Nobody should ever doubt it," he said. - APP/AFP