Order to kill Khashoggi came from top of Saudi government: Turkey's Erdogan

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The order to kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi came from the highest level of the Saudi government, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, adding that the worldwide community had the responsibility to "reveal the puppet masters" behind the slaying.

"We now see that it wasn't just cut up; (the Saudi suspects) got rid of the body by dissolving it", Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Recep Tayyip Erdogan and an official in Turkey's ruling party, told the newspaper Hurriyet on Friday.

Aktay, who was friend of Khashoggi, said he believes that the body was cut into pieces so that it could be dissolved in chemicals.

Within days of the mysterious disappearance Turkish officials had made anonymous leaks to the media about the killing of the journalist, a harsh critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "It was meant to leave no trace of the body".

"The violent murder of a prominent journalist and commentator on foreign soil is a grave violation of human rights and a disturbing escalation of the crackdown on dissent in Saudi Arabia, whose government in recent years has jailed numerous writers, journalists, human rights advocates, and lawyers in a sweeping assault on free expression and association", the group said Friday in an open letter.

Killing an innocent person is one crime, the treatment and extent of what was done to the body is another crime and dishonour.

That includes lingering questions about where Khashoggi's body is and the identity of a "local collaborator" that Saudi officials have said was tasked with disposing of the journalist's remains, Erdogan said.

The call reportedly took place before Saudi authorities admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in the consulate. Riyadh has maintained that neither King Salman nor Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew of the operation to target Khashoggi.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that it will probably take "weeks" before the U.S. administration gathers enough information about the perpetrators to decide on its response.

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"Even though a month has passed since Jamal's murder, his body has still not been given to his loved ones", Cengiz said during a Washington memorial service for her would-be husband.

"We hope to get momentum towards a United Nations -led investigation into the killing", Benedict added.

The worldwide community refused to accept the Saudi claim that the incident was not a premeditated murder.

Other lawmakers urged the United States not to forsake justice for Khashoggi, in the interest of preserving trade interests with Saudi Arabia. "His invitation of Turkish investigators to Saudi Arabia for more talks about the case felt like a desperate and deliberate stalling tactic".

On Saturday at the Turkish Airlines Open, European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley was asked if he had any concerns about the new Saudi event as backlash to the apparent murder grew.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined to condemn Saudi Arabia after the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October, denouncing the murder for the first time as he showed deference to Riyadh as a regional power.

He added: "The chief prosecutor is not trying to shed light on the murder, he is trying to save the crown prince".

Forensics experts have questioned the theory, as they say disposing of a body using acid can take months.

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