No independent Khashoggi investigation: Ex-Saudi spy chief

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in London on March 7

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

This led investigators to believe the dead body of the insider-turned-critic of the Riyadh regime was disposed of through the drains as liquid, the paper said.

Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Erdogan, suggested last week that the body may have been dissolved.

On the day of Khashoggi's disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources.

Initially, Turkish media had quoted sources as saying Turkey had audio recordings proving that Khashoggi had been tortured before being murdered.

Turkey has said Saudi Arabia sent a 15-member team to kill Khashoggi and dispose of his body.

"All these countries heard the recordings and know about them", Erdogan said.

Saudi officials characterize the killing as a rogue operation carried out by Saudi agents who exceeded their authority.

Khashoggi's sons have appealed to Riyadh to return the body of their father so that the grieving family can bury him in a cemetery in the holy city of Medina with the rest of his clan.

Turkish officials reportedly played the tapes for Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel when she visited Turkey late last month but U.S. officials have not commented on her briefing with President Donald Trump after her return to Washington. There is no need to distort this. Donald Trump had previously said that he did not know what happened to Khashoggi and had to wait for evidence, a statement that suggested the USA was not in possession of the recordings.

The reported phone call to the White House came before Saudi Arabia admitted Khashoggi had been killed. They include the 15 members of the alleged assassination squad.

Saudi Arabia now acknowledges that Khashoggi was intentionally killed in the building and says it has arrested 18 people.

However, Erdogan has accused the "highest levels" of the Saudi government with ordering the hit, while some officials have pointed the finger at the all-powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "In consultation with the United States" it had requested the end of in-flight refueling, Saudi Arabia said.

Following a meeting on Saturday in Paris, U.S. President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron agreed that the Saudi authorities needed to shed full light on Khashoggi's murder, a French presidency source said.

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