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ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave details Tuesday about the investigation into the Oct.2 killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Some excerpts from his speech to lawmakers:
— "All evidence gathered shows that Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a savage murder. To cover up such savagery would hurt the human conscience."
— "This murder may have taken place inside a consulate building that is considered Saudi Arabian land but it cannot be forgotten that this is within the Turkish Republic's borders."
— "The Vienna Convention or other international laws do not allow that the investigation of such a savage murder be hidden underneath the armor of diplomatic immunity."
— "To blame such an incident on a handful of security and intelligence members would not satisfy us or the international community."
— "It appears, on the eve of the murder, 15 Saudi security personnel, intelligence officials and a forensics expert arrived in our country. It has been ascertained that six of them left on Oct. 2 evening at 18:30 and seven of them at 22:50 on two planes. It has also been determined that another person who has been made to look similar to Jamal Khashoggi with his clothes, glasses and beard and another person left for Riyadh on a scheduled flight. On the day of the event, the employees of the consulate were gathered in a room on the excuse of an audit, and employees in the residency given leave for the same reason."
— "The Saudi Arabian administration has taken an important step by admitting the murder. As of now we expect of them to openly bring to light those responsible — from the highest ranked to the lowest — and to bring them to justice. Human conscience would only be satisfied if everyone is held to account, from the person who gave the order to those who carried it out."
_"We have strong signs that the murder was not caused by a momentary event but is the product of a planned operation."
— "Why did these 15 people all with links to the event gather in Istanbul on the day of the murder? We are seeking answers. Who did these people get their orders from to go there? We are seeking answers."
— "When the murder is so clear, why were so many inconsistent statements made? Why is the body of a person who has officially been accepted as killed still not around?"
— "(Regarding) the statement that the body was given to a local collaborator, and that statement was made by an official, I am now asking: who is this local collaborator?"
— "Since this is a political murder, if there are any partners in crime in other countries, they also need to be included in the investigation."
— "In fact I'm making a call from here today. My call is to the top administration of Saudi Arabia, starting with the King, The Custodian of the Two Holy Cities. The location where the event happened is Istanbul. Therefore, I am proposing that the trial for the 18 arrested people — 15 plus three — should take place in Istanbul. The decision is theirs but this is my proposal, my demand, because this is where the event took place."