Khashoggi audio recording is a ‘true catastrophe,’ Erdogan says


Erdogan informed reporters that after the intelligence officer had heard the recording, he mentioned: “I assume they have been on heroin; solely somebody who’s on heroin would do such a factor.”

The feedback, reported by the pro-government Turkish newspaper The Every day Sabah on Tuesday, got here after The New York Times reported that individuals acquainted with the audio recording say it comprises an instruction to “inform your boss.” American intelligence officers consider is a reference to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince.

The report means that one of many 15-strong “kill group” allegedly despatched to Istanbul to assassinate Khashoggi might be heard on the tape making a telephone name in Arabic to say “the deed was carried out,” or phrases to that impact.

The identical individual additionally informed the individual on the opposite finish of the road to “inform your boss,” a reference intelligence officers consider is the strongest proof but linking de facto Saudi chief Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Khashoggi’s homicide, in keeping with the Occasions.

Riyadh has maintained that neither bin Salman nor his father, King Salman, knew of the operation to focus on Khashoggi, an American resident.

The crown prince isn’t particularly talked about by identify through the audio recording, in keeping with the Occasions.

Citing three unnamed individuals acquainted with the recording, the Occasions report says the decision was made by Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of many Saudi group allegedly despatched to kill the Washington Publish columnist.

The assertion is backed up by Turkish intelligence officers, who informed their American counterparts that Mutreb was chatting with one among Prince Mohammed’s aides, the Occasions studies.

CNN has not heard the recording and is unable to confirm the voices on the tape or what they’re presupposed to say.

Turkey has claimed for weeks to have audio proof that exposes how the Saudi journalist was killed on October 2, whereas visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to acquire papers for his upcoming marriage.

The Turkish chief prosecutor has beforehand mentioned that Khashoggi was strangled as quickly as he entered the consulate as a part of a premeditated plan, and his physique dismembered.

The Saudis have offered shifting tales concerning the journalist’s loss of life, initially denying any information earlier than arguing {that a} group of rogue operators have been answerable for his loss of life.

US officials have speculated that such a mission — together with the 15 males despatched from Riyadh — couldn’t have been carried out with out the authorization of bin Salman, inheritor obvious to the Saudi throne.

After Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi was killed in its Istanbul consulate, 5 high-ranking officers have been dismissed, together with bin Salman’s media chief and the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service.

Tapes disseminated to pleasant international locations

The small print of the tape have emerged as Ankara confirmed that the intelligence had been shared with allies.

Turkey’s Erdogan mentioned Saturday that his nation had shared the recordings with Saudi Arabia, the USA, the UK, Germany and France, though confusion has swirled over which international locations have and have not listened to the recordings. Turkish officers have mentioned little about what they could comprise.

On Monday, talking from Paris, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that his nation’s intelligence companies had listened to the audio, though he says that he personally had not heard the tapes.

“We proceed to be engaged with our allies on the investigation into accountability for the homicide of Jamal Khashoggi, and we’re in discussions with our like-minded allies as to subsequent steps in direction of Saudi Arabia,” he mentioned in response to a reporter’s query.

Hunt: Justice will quickly be served

British International Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the primary high-ranking British official to journey to Riyadh for the reason that diplomatic disaster over Khashoggi’s loss of life emerged, informed reporters from the Saudi capital Monday that he thinks these answerable for the killing will quickly be dropped at justice.

“I talked very frankly about our considerations about what occurred and the way necessary it’s for Saudi’s strategic companions to know that this can not and won’t occur once more,” he informed reporters.

“Step one in that course of — not the one step however step one in that course of is to verify there’s correct accountability for the individuals who have been accountable, each the individuals who dedicated the act but additionally the individuals who gave the orders for the act. Due course of is in practice in the mean time in Saudi Arabia and I used to be led to consider there will probably be speedy progress in ensuring that persons are dropped at justice.”

On Sunday, his US counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, informed bin Salman that the US will maintain all these concerned within the killing of Khashoggi accountable, and “that Saudi Arabia should do the identical,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert mentioned in a press release.

CNN’s Angela Dewan and Stephanie Halasz contributed to this report.

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