Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asks Riyadh to disclose the location of Jamal Khashoggi's body, and demands Riyadh hand over the people it arrested to be tried in Turkey.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey has other
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey has other "information and evidence" about Jamal Khashoggi's killing by a Saudi hit squad in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. (TRTWorld)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called on Saudi Arabia to disclose the location of the body of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said Turkey had more information about the case than it has shared so far.

Erdogan also said Riyadh needs to disclose the identity of the "local collaborator" who purportedly took Khashoggi's body from Saudi agents after the journalist was killed at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Speaking to provincial members of his governing AK Party in parliament, Erdogan said Saudi's public prosecutor was due to meet the Istanbul prosecutor in Istanbul early next week.

"They (the Saudis) are sending the chief prosecutor on Sunday to Turkey," he said, adding that Riyadh must hand over the people it arrested in the case to be tried in Turkey.

Killing bore the hallmarks of an 'extrajudicial execution'

Amid an admission by Saudi Arabia on Thursday that the murder of Khashoggi was premeditated, a United Nations rapporteur sought to hold Saudi Arabia to account.

"Even Saudi Arabia itself has admitted that the crime was premeditated, that it involved state officials... whether or not they acted in the name of the state that remains to be discussed and investigated," Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial execution said. 

"But from where I sit, from the standpoint of international human rights law, this bears all the hallmark of an extrajudicial execution." 

"And until I am proven otherwise," Callamard added, "I will have to assume that this is the case. It will be up to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to demonstrate that it was not."

Killing tests US-Saudi ties 

The death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has sparked global outrage and mushroomed into a crisis for the world's top oil exporter and strategic ally of the West. 

Saudi officials initially denied having anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance after he entered the consulate on October 2, before changing the official account to say an internal investigation suggested he was accidentally killed in a botched operation to return him to the kingdom. 

TRT World's Oubai Shahbandar has more on how the journalist's murder could affect US-Saudi ties.

Who ordered the killing?

Callamard also made clear any state will not be able to easily walk away from being linked to the crime. 

"It is not quite possible for the state to wash its hands from the behaviour of those actors, whether or not somebody even higher up has requested those acts," she said. 

"Where do we stop, where do we begin, where do we stop the construction of the state? They were representing the state when they acted as they acted." 

Turkey and Western allies of Riyadh have voiced deep skepticism about Saudi explanations of the killing. 

Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi, 59, was killed inside the consulate by Saudi agents and his body cut up. 

The Saudi disclosure that he was murdered in a premeditated hit came as CIA director Gina Haspel is reported to have briefed US President Donal Trump on an audio recording of the killing that sources say was played to her during a fact-finding visit to Turkey this week. 

It was not clear what could be heard in the audio.

Representatives for the CIA and Turkish intelligence declined to comment.

Khashoggi's son allowed to leave Saudi Arabia

Meanwhile, the eldest son of the murdered journalist has arrived in Washington with his family from Saudi Arabia, according to two sources close to the family.

Salah bin Jamal Khashoggi and his family were able to leave the kingdom after it revoked a travel ban and allowed him to go to the United States.

Salah was photographed on Wednesday stoically shaking bin Salman's hand, as well as shaking hands with Saudi King Salman, during a photo opportunity in Riyadh.

Sarah Leah Whitson, the director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East North Africa division, confirmed the family's departure.

"Too bad Salah had to endure that cruel and bizarre greeting with MBS first," she said on Twitter, using the initials by which bin Salman is often called.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had discussed the case of Salah Khashoggi during the top US diplomat's recent visit to Riyadh.

Salah Khashoggi (L), a son of Jamal Khashoggi meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 23.
Salah Khashoggi (L), a son of Jamal Khashoggi meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 23. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)
Source: TRTWorld and agencies