Turkey pressurises Saudi Arabia

Turkey pressurises Saudi Arabia

ANKARA - Turkey on Monday called on Saudi Arabia to reveal the "whole truth" about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, as the whereabouts of the journalist’s body dominated a visit to the country by Riyadh’s top prosecutor.

Khashoggi’s death inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate has brought near unprecedented international scrutiny on Saudi Arabia, which is seeking to draw a line under the crisis as Western powers demand answers.

The head of the Saudi investigation, Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb, who last week acknowledged that the killing was "premeditated" based on Turkish evidence, met with Istanbul chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan for around 75 minutes on Monday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Mojeb was then expected to inspect the Saudi consulate. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday said there was "an advantage in our prosecutors sharing information and working together".

"The cooperation must continue, but it must not be drawn out or turned into a diversion. The investigation must be completed as soon as possible, so that the whole truth is revealed," he told a press conference in Istanbul.

Asked about the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body, which remain a mystery nearly a month after his death, Cavusoglu said that "as those who committed the murder are in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has a very large responsibility".

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who had criticised Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed-bin Salman, vanished after entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee. According to Turkey broadcaster TRT, Mojeb asked Turkish investigators to hand over the full findings of their own probe, but the request was rejected.

TRT said the Turkish prosecutor then demanded Mojeb give up any information of the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body. Saudi authorities have arrested 18 men over the murder, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has requested the suspects be extradited for trial in Turkey.

However Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir rejected the request, saying the men will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia, dismissing media "hysteria". Erdogan has also questioned why Saudi Arabia will not reveal the location of the body, as well as details of who carried out the hit. - APP/AFP