Ankara, Jan 22 : Turkey is planning to launch an international probe into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and will take the necessary steps in coming days, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and supporter-turned-critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 when he went there to get documents for his marriage.
After weeks of providing conflicting accounts of what happened to Khashoggi, the kingdom later said that he was killed “accidentally” in a fist fight at the consulate by “rogue” agents. However, it denied the ruling royal family’s involvement in the killing.
“Now we have made preparations for an international probe in the coming days. We will take the necessary steps,” Cavusoglu said at a youth meeting in Istanbul on Monday.
He claimed that some Western countries were trying to cover up the murder, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“We see how those, who speak of freedom of press in the world, cover this thing up when they see money.”
The Minister said that Turkey acted wisely in the case and they were well aware of the difficulties in shedding light on the murder.
“Now we have made preparations for an international probe in the coming days. We will take the necessary steps,” he added.
Eleven individuals had been charged by Saudi prosecutors in the journalist’s killing – with five suspects facing the death penalty. Turkey has sought the extradition of Saudis involved in the killing.
Turkish and American intelligence reports had stated that Khashoggi’s body was dismembered shortly after his murder inside the Saudi diplomatic mission. There were also reports of sound recordings and phone calls that directly tied Bin Salman to the murder.(IANS)