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Erdogan says top Saudi officials ordered Khashoggi hit

Baku, November 3, AZERTAC

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that the order for journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing came from the top levels of the Saudi government, according to Anadolu Agency.

In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, Erdogan said Turkey knows the perpetrators are among the 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia.

We also know that those individuals came to carry out their orders: Kill Khashoggi and leave. Finally, we know that the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government," said Erdogan.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to receive paperwork he needed to get married.

Once inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s office.

The president said Turkey's efforts led the world to learn Khashoggi was killed in cold blood by a death squad and established his murder was premeditated.

The president warned that no one should dare commit "such acts on the soil of a NATO ally again".

"Yet there are other, no less significant questions whose answers will contribute to our understanding of this deplorable act," said Erdogan, including the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body, the identity of the "local collaborator" who was given his remains, and who ordered the killing.

"I do not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit on Khashoggi. Therefore, I have no reason to believe that his murder reflected Saudi Arabia’s official policy. In this sense, it would be wrong to view the Khashoggi slaying as a 'problem' between two countries," said the president.

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