Turkey's Erdogan Hands Khashoggi Killing Tapes to U.S

Turkey's Erdogan Hands Khashoggi Killing Tapes to U.S

In this image made from a March 2018 video provided by Metafora Production, Jamal Khashoggi speaks during an interview at an undisclosed location.

A Turkish official said last week that Saudi Arabia sent two people, a chemist and a toxicologist, to Istanbul a week after Khashoggi's October 2 killing to erase evidence, calling it a sign that top Saudi officials knew of the crime.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera reported that traces of hydrofluoric acid and other chemicals were discovered by Turkish investigators inside a well at the Saudi consul general's residence, citing a source in the Turkish attorney general's office.

Mr Erdogan's statement confirms previously unsubstantiated reports that Turkish authorities had audio recordings of what transpired after Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, the last time he was seen alive. His body has never been found.

US officials said on Friday that the Trump administration is ending air refueling flights for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen and preparing sanctions against Saudis linked to the killing.

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He also said that 18 people arrested in connection with the murder know "the killers of Khashoggi very well".

The Oct. 2 killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and activist, has sparked global outrage.

The latest findings come as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said that recordings related to Khashoggi's death have been passed on to Saudi Arabia, the U.S., the UK, Germany and France.

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

"They killed you and chopped up your body, depriving me and your family of conducting your funeral prayer and burying you in Madinah as wished".

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

He said, however, that the Saudi team had traveled to Turkey with some special "tools and equipment", adding that the pictures and details of the gadgets will be published by Daily Sabah in the coming days.

They include the killing itself and conversations pre-dating the operation which Turkey subsequently uncovered, the sources said. One of Prince Mohammed's top aides, Saud al-Qahtani, featured prominently in them throughout, sources said. The official confirmation will increase the pressure on President Donald Trump and other Western leaders to demand accountability for the killing, specifically from Saudi Arabia. There was no indication that any of the suspects were detained.

The two leaders also warned against further destabilisation of the Middle East as a result of the affair and expressed the hope that it could create an opportunity for a resolution to the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

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