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Khashoggi’s body was dissolved in acid, Turkish adviser says

The body of slain reporter Jamal Khashoggi was cut up and dissolved in acid after he was killed at a Saudi consulate in Turkey a month ago, an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.



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Khashoggi was killed after visiting the Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2, Saudi officials have acknowledged. His body has not been recovered.


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“The murder of an innocent person is one crime,” adviser Yasin Aktay told the Hurriyet newspaper. “The treatment of the body is a separate crime.”

The human body is considered sacred in Islam.

Aktay was first government official that Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee, called when he didn’t emerge from the consulate. She’d accompanied him to the building so he could get a document for their planned wedding but did not go inside with him.

“We knew Khashoggi’s body was dismembered,” Aktay added. “But now we see that they didn’t just cut it up, they dissolved the body. According to the latest information, the reason why they broke up the body is to make it dissolve more easily. It was meant to leave no trace of the body.”

A Turkish prosecutor said Wednesday Khashoggi was strangled immediately after he arrived at the consulate.

The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a contributor, also reported the use of acid or a chemical agent to dissolve the writer’s remains.

In a column for the Post Friday, Cengiz called her fiance’s death “barbaric and ruthless.”

“What crime did he commit for them to do this? What was the reason for them to murder him so brutally? There is no explanation for this hate,” she wrote.

In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Cengiz called on President Donald Trump to help bring Khashoggi’s killers to justice.

“But the Trump administration has taken a position that is devoid of moral foundation,” she wrote Friday. “Some have approached this through the cynical prism of self-interest statements framed by fear and cowardice; by the fear of upsetting deals or economic ties. But we will continue to push the Trump administration to help find justice for Jamal. There will be no coverup.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking on KMOX radio in St. Louis Thursday, said the journalist’s killing is unacceptable, and punitive sanctions from the Trump administration are expected within the next few weeks.

“The president said we will demand accountability for those who were involved in the commission of this heinous crime,” Pompeo said. “At the same time, President Trump has made very clear not only do we have important commercial relationships, but important strategic relationships, national security relationships with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we intend to make sure that those relationships remain intact.”

Pompeo added that the Saudis have cooperated with the investigation and they are working to determine what happened and who’s responsible.

A political opponent of Erdogan’s said Friday the killers who ambushed Khashoggi were allowed to leave the country after a phone call from Saudi King Salman to Erdogan.

“The Saudi king makes a phone call. Then murderers in Turkey leave the country freely,” Republican People’s Party leader Kemel Kilicdaroglu said Thursday, speaking at the Pharmacy Congress. “There is a Turkey that resigns itself to foreign interventions. I am embarrassed with that in the name of democracy. We have to resolve our issues by our own will.”



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