Vastavam web: Turkish prosecutors have prepared an extradition request for 18 suspects from Saudi Arabia in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, authorities said on Friday, after President Tayyip Erdogan urged Riyadh to disclose who ordered the murder. Erdogan has in recent days stepped up pressure on Saudi Arabia to come clean in the case, and Western governments have also voiced increasing scepticism, pitching the world’s top oil exporter and a pivotal Middle East ally into a worsening crisis.
Khashoggi, who lived in the United States, was a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler. Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor on Thursday said the killing of Khashoggi was premeditated, contradicting a previous official statement that it happened accidentally during a tussle in the consulate. Riyadh’s numerous shifting accounts of the killing have undermined Prince Mohammed’s stance in the West.
“Who gave this order?” Erdogan said in a speech to members of his AK Party in Ankara. “Who gave the order for 15 people to come to Turkey?” he said. Saudi officials initially denied having anything to do with Khashoggi’s disappearance after he entered the consulate, which he had visited to obtain paperwork for a planned marriage. “It is clear that the judicial system in Turkey is better equipped to genuinely serve the cause of justice in this case.” Saudi Arabia has also sacked five senior government officials as part of the investigation.