The Guardian

Ankara has given recordings on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, the US, Germany, France and Britain, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

Khashoggi, a critic of de facto Saudi ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate last month in a hit that Erdoğan says was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

Speaking as he left Turkey to attend first world war one commemorations in France, which are being attended by the US president and European leaders, Erdoğan said for the first time that the three European Union states had heard the recordings.

“We gave the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them. They know,” Erdoğan said.

The CIA director, Gina Haspel, heard an audio recording of Khashoggi’s death when she visited Istanbul, two sources told Reuters last month. A senior Saudi envoy was also played a recording, a source familiar with the matter said.
Erdoğan did not give details of the contents of the tapes on Saturday but two sources with knowledge of the issue have told Reuters that Turkey has several audio recordings.

They include the killing itself and conversations pre-dating the operation that Turkey subsequently uncovered, the sources said. These had led Ankara to conclude from an early stage that the killing was premeditated, despite Saudi Arabia’s initial denials of any knowledge or involvement.

Saudi Arabia’s prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb has since said Khashoggi’s killing was planned in advance, although another Saudi official said Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of the specific operation.

Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our reporting as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

The Guardian is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important because it enables us to give a voice to the voiceless, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different to so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.