Turkish officials will launch an international investigation into the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying the United States tried to “cover this thing up.”
Khashoggi, a frequent Saudi government critic and Washington Post contributor, died Oct. 2 while visiting Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul to get a document for his wedding. The death has been a diplomatic embarrassment for Saudi Arabia as Turkey continues to insist he died for his writings and his death was ordered by top Saudi officials.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday called out the United States for standing by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who’s been accused of complicity in Khashoggi’s death. regardless of whether he ordered the journalist’s death.
“We see how those, who speak of freedom of press in the world, cover this thing up when they see money,” Cavusoglu said of the United States. “Now, we have made preparations for an international probe in the coming days. We will take the necessary steps.”
The CIA believes bin Salman ordered a Saudi hit team to lure Khashoggi into the consulate to kill him and dismember his body. But the Trump administration has maintained there isn’t enough information pointing to the crown prince. President Donald Trump has also reiterated Saudi Arabia’s value as a U.S. ally.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday the United States is still gathering information on Khashoggi’s killing.
“Every single person who has responsibility for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi needs to be held accountable,” Pompeo said this month at a meeting with bin Salman.
The U.S. Senate rebuked the crown prince with a vote in December.
Turkey has demanded that those responsible for Khashoggi’s death be extradited. Saudi officials have refused, starting a trial in their own country for suspects in the case. Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects.