The Oct. 2 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated, according to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spoke in parliament Tuesday, adding that Turkey has strong evidence backing his accusation.
Speaking during his Justice and Development (AK) Party’s group meeting in parliament, Erdogan cited details from Turkey’s investigation into the Khashoggi murder, stressing that all the evidence revealed until now points to Khashoggi being the victim of a “savage” murder.
Erdogan said that Saudi teams explored Istanbul’s Belgrad Forest and the northwestern province of Yalova before the attack on Khashoggi. He also said that the Saudi government formally admitted to the killing of Khashoggi, 17 days after the event.
“The Vienna convention would not allow such a ‘savage’ murder,” Erdogan said. “Diplomatic immunity, which is a part of the Vienna Convention, will be opened to debate,” he said.
President Erdogan also proposed that the 18 suspects involved in the murder should stand trial in Istanbul, since the murder was committed there.
“Everyone, those who ordered his murder and those who executed it, should answer for their doing,” Erdogan said, labeling the killing of Khashoggi a “political murder.”
After two weeks of denying any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, Saudi Arabia on Saturday said he was killed in a fist fight inside its Istanbul consulate.