Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to address the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at an AK Party meeting in Ankara, the same day CIA Director Gina Haspel is due in Turkey to work with local officials on the investigation.

Activists and protesters march to the US Department of State building in Washington, after holding a demonstration outside the White House calling for sanctions against Saudi Arabia following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. October 19, 2018.
Activists and protesters march to the US Department of State building in Washington, after holding a demonstration outside the White House calling for sanctions against Saudi Arabia following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. October 19, 2018. (Reuters)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday is scheduled to brief parliamentary members from the governing AK Party on the on-going investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul three weeks ago.

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi leadership and at the time of his death a columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

After more then two weeks of denying any knowledge of his fate, Riyadh on Saturday admitted he was killed inside the consular building.

Turkish sources say authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting the killing of the 59-year-old, which Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir on Sunday acknowledged was "murder."

Top US officials are in region to address Khashoggi case

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh and discussed "combating terrorist financing, implementing Iran sanctions, Saudi economic issues and the Khashoggi investigation," according to the US Treasury Department Spokesman Tony Sayegh.

Mnuchin cancelled his speaking engagement at a high-profile Saudi investment conference on Tuesday, as did two dozen other top speakers. 

CIA Director Gina Haspel was traveling to Turkey on Monday to help investigate the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, two sources familiar with the matter said, as security agencies examined what role the Saudi crown prince may have played in the case.

Khashoggi, who was living in Washington, disappeared after entering the consulate to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said that he was still not satisfied with what he has heard from Saudi Arabia about the Khashoggi's killing, but did not want to lose investment from Riyadh.

TRT World's Oubai Shahbandar reports on whether Khashoggi's saga will affect US-Saudi relations.

Killing directed over Skype

According to one high-ranking Arab source with access to intelligence and links to members of Saudi Arabia’s royal court, Saud al Qahtani, a top aide for of the Saudi crown prince, was beamed into a room of the Saudi consulate via Skype, Reuters reported.

Qahtani began to hurl insults at Khashoggi over the phone. According to the Arab and Turkish sources. According to the Saudi narrative, Khashoggi answered Qahtani’s insults with his own.

But he was no match for the hit squad, which included top security and intelligence operatives, some with direct links to the royal court.

On Monday, CNN broadcast a body double Saudi Arabia included in the hit squad to make it look like Khashoggi had left the building alive, an attempted ruse a Saudi official admitted to after the broadcast. CNN described the video as law enforcement surveillance footage.

Also on Monday, Turkish police found a diplomatic vehicle which belongs to the Saudi consulate in a parking lot as part of the ongoing probe.  

Amid Turkey’s efforts to investigate the Khashoggi case, Istanbul police found the diplomatic car in the city’s Sultangazi district.

Police asked for the permission of the chief public prosecutor’s office and the consulate general of Saudi Arabia to search the vehicle. 

The vehicle was registered in the name of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and was bought in 2011, according to documents obtained by TRT World.

For detailed coverage, click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies