Istanbul, October 19: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday said that the government did not share with the US recordings of the alleged brutal torture and murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi who disappeared after entering his country's consulate here earlier in the month.
Speaking from Albania, Cavusoglu, a member of the Justice and Development Party which claims to be in possession of audio and video evidence showing Khashoggi was assassinated at the consulate on October 2, dismissed reports he had shared any such proof with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo during the latter's visit to Ankara this week.
"It is not true that Turkey gave any recordings to Pompeo or to any other senior official of the US," Ankara's top diplomat told reporters during his visit to Tirana, adding that Turkish officials had been collecting evidence from the consulate grounds, Efe news reported. "We will share the results that emerge from there with the world," he said.
Cavusoglu's remarks came after Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak published an account of Khashoggi's alleged demise citing recordings obtained from the consulate. It claimed a hit squad severed the fingers of the 60-year-old before murdering and decapitating him. Saudi May Blame Intelligence Official for Jamal Khashoggi Killing.
Forensic teams on Friday widened their search for the missing journalist and were scouring a nearby forest for traces of his DNA.
Khashoggi -- a permanent resident of the US in self-imposed exile who penned a column in the Washington Post and was a fierce critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies -- has been missing since he entered the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul for paperwork needed for his planned marriage.
Saudi Arabia has denied all allegations of state-sponsored murder and said it backed a transparent probe into the Khashoggi's disappearance. The US has taken on the role of mediator between Ankara and Riyadh.