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Khashoggi killing: Erdogan accuses 'highest levels' of Saudi govt

ANKARA: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the order to murder Jamal Khashoggi came from "the highest levels" of the Saudi government on Friday (Nov 2) as he promised no let-up in the hunt for his killers.

A month on from Khashoggi's murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Erdogan said he did "not believe for a second" that King Salman was to blame.

But he pointedly failed to absolve Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of responsibility for unleashing a "death squad" against the outspoken Saudi journalist whose death has badly tainted the kingdom's de facto ruler.

And in an editorial for Khashoggi's former employer, The Washington Post, Erdogan accused authorities in Riyadh of refusing to answer key questions about the murder, despite their arrest of 18 suspects a fortnight ago.

Erdogan's comments came shortly after one of his top lieutenants charged that Khashoggi's dismembered body was "dissolved" in the consulate as part of an effort to leave no trace of the killing.

"Over the course of the past month, Turkey has moved heaven and earth to shed light on all aspects of this case. As a result of our efforts, the world has learned that Khashoggi was killed in cold blood by a death squad, and it has been established that his murder was premeditated," Erdogan wrote in The Post.

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