Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected Tuesday to reveal what he has said is the “naked truth” about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul — a killing Ankara has said was “savagely planned”.
His speech comes as US President Donald Trump said he was “not satisfied” with Riyadh’s explanation of the Washington Post contributor’s death in a case has tarnished the image of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
A tough critic of the Saudi Crown Prince, Khashoggi, 59, disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to collect a document for his upcoming marriage.
A few days later, a Turkish government source said police believed he was murdered by a team sent to Istanbul, and on October 17, a Turkish newspaper said he was tortured and decapitated inside the consulate.
After more than two weeks of near silence, Saudi Arabia admitted on Saturday that Khashoggi was killed in an altercation at the consular office — an explanation rejected by friends and foes alike.
Trump, who had said he found Riyadh’s initial explanations credible, told reporters at the White House Monday: “I am not satisfied with what I have heard” since then, and expected to know more “very soon”.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin meanwhile met the Crown Prince behind closed doors in Riyadh for talks.
White House advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner said he had urged Prince Mohammed to be “fully transparent” stressing that “the world is watching”.
The case has shone the spotlight on the Crown Prince, who was credited with spearheading a reform drive but is now accused of having ordered Khashoggi’s murder — a claim Riyadh denies.
And as further details of the killing continued to seep out, CNN broadcast images showing a Saudi official playing a body double for Khashoggi, wearing the journalist’s clothes, exiting the consulate.