Tuesday Oct 23, 2018
Parts of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi's body have been found at the residence of Saudi consul general in Istanbul, foreign media outlets reported Tuesday citing sources and Turkish politicians.
Dogu Perincek, leader of Turkey's Rodina party, claimed in an interview that body parts were discovered in a well at the home of Saudi consul general, Turkish newspaper Haberler reported.
Another report in Turkish media also claimed the same.
Sky News reported citing sources that the writer's body had been "cut up" and his face "disfigured", with remains found in the garden of the Saudi consul general's home.
The revelation came before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, promising to reveal the "naked truth" behind the killing, told lawmakers on Tuesday that a plot to murder Mr Khashoggi began days in advance, and his body was still missing.
Erdogan said a team of Saudi agents began arriving in Turkey the day before Khashoggi was killed, and cameras at the consulate were removed.
He said a Saudi team of 15 entered the consulate the day of the killing, and that three men from the team went on an exploration trip to Belgrad forest in Istanbul and Yalova, a 90-kilometre (55 mile) drive south of Istanbul.
The Turkish president called for the 18 Saudi nationals suspected in the murder of Khashoggi to stand trial in Istanbul, saying all those involved had to face punishment.
"My demand is that 18 people be tried in Istanbul," Erdogan said in his speech to ruling party lawmakers in Ankara, adding that "all those who played a role in the murder" had to face punishment.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the kingdom´s de facto ruler, disappeared three weeks ago after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.
Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate by Saudi agents.
Turkish sources say authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting the killing of the 59-year-old.
Riyadh initially denied knowledge of his fate before saying he was killed in a fight in the consulate, a reaction greeted skeptically by several Western governments, straining relations with the world´s biggest oil exporter.
Following the global outrage prompted by the journalist´s disappearance, US President Donald Trump´s comments have varied from playing down Riyadh´s role to warning of possible economic sanctions.
Trump has also repeatedly highlighted the kingdom´s importance as a US ally and said Prince Mohammad was a strong and passionate leader.
For Saudi Arabia´s allies, the question will be whether they believe that Prince Mohammed, who has painted himself as a reformer, has any culpability.
King Salman, 82, has handed the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to the 33-year-old prince.