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Turkey Rejects Saudi Claim on Khashoggi’s Killing

Turkey has dismissed Saudi Arabia’s latest version of events in the October 2 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi authorities announced this week 11 people are being charged with the writer’s killing and that the death penalty is sought for five. The country’s deputy public prosecutor alleged Khashoggi was killed in a  rogue operation that went wrong when a fight broke out as he was being injected with a drug and tied up.

“I have to say that I did not find some of the [Saudi] statements satisfactory,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Thursday.

Cavusoglu went on to repeat Ankara’s claim Khashoggi was the victim of premeditated murder.

Turkey’s political leadership has been at the forefront of challenging Saudi Arabia about the killing, forcing its leadership to repeatedly change its story.

Senior members of Turkey’s ruling AK Party joined hundreds of supporters and friends at an Istanbul mosque on Friday to pray for Khashoggi and vow that justice will be done.

“We are going to be defenders of his cause. What we want is not revenge but justice,” said Yasin Aktay, deputy AK head and friend of Khashoggi, addressing mourners.

“There are 15 people defined as perpetrators [in Khashoggi’s death], but they didn’t make this decision on their own. This is the story being sold to us, and we don’t believe in it,“ he added, criticizing Saudi Arabia’s latest version of Khashoggi’s killing.

Saudi Arabia’s changing story

In the first few days following Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi officials maintained that the journalist left the consulate after a visit for marriage documents.

Following sustained pressure by Ankara, through a campaign of leaks to international media of information about the killing, Saudi Arabia finally acknowledged the writer died in the consulate.

On Thursday, columnist Abdulkadir Selvi of Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper wrote that a 15-minute recording of Khashoggi’s killers undermines Riyadh’s claim the death wasn’t premeditated.

“The Saudi team discusses how to execute Khashoggi. They are reviewing their plan, which was previously prepared, and reminding themselves of the duties of each member,” wrote Selvi, who has close links to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey has already shared a seven-minute audio recording capturing Khashoggi’s killing with its Western allies and Saudi authorities. Until now, it has been widely assumed the tape was the key piece of evidence held by Turkish investigators. The claim of further recordings is likely to increase pressure on the Saudis and, in particular, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Erdogan has repeatedly alluded to the crown prince’s alleged involvement, a charge Riyadh strongly denies. Washington, a key ally of the crown prince, continues to back him publicly. And analysts suggest the US is increasingly looking to Erdogan for a resolution of the diplomatic crisis, given his country’s pivotal role in the death investigation.

“In the Khashoggi case, they have very good communication with Washington, said former senior Turkish diplomat Aydin Selcen, who served in Washington.

This past week, a U.S. media report suggested Washington was looking into the extradition of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in exchange for Ankara’s easing pressure on Riyadh.

Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in the state of Pennsylvania and denies Turkey’s accusation of involvement in a failed Turkish coup in 2016.

Washington denies any deal, but U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Thursday , “We continue to evaluate the material that the Turkish government presents requesting his extradition.”

Gulen’s extradition is a top diplomatic priority for Turkey even as it dismisses any talk of a deal.

“Turkey’s pending request for Fethullah Gulen’s extradition from the United States and the investigation into Khashoggi’s murder are two separate issues. They are not connected in any way, shape or form,” said a senior Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“At no point did Turkey offer to hold back on the Khashoggi investigation in return for Fethullah Gulen’s extradition,” he added.

Analysts point out it’s doubtful Washington could make such an offer, given Gulen’s extradition is a matter for the courts, which experts say is a potentially lengthy and challenging process.

Also, analysts say since Erdogan sees the Saudi crown prince as his chief rival in the region, his goals may extend well beyond an extradition.

“We are in a new phase, and there will be more cooperation between the U.S. and Turkey. And this is part of replacing Mohammed bin Salman,” said former Turkish diplomat Selcen.

“What Erdogan wants to harvest from this case of Khashoggi’s murder,” he added, “is to replace Mohammed bin Salman as the pivotal actor, the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the Middle East.”

Some observers suggest while Turkey has so far handled the Khashoggi case with skill, it could be in danger of overreach, given the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

But they say the U.S. and Saudi Arabia likely will continue to be on the defensive, especially that Turkey, which may well have more incriminating evidence in the case, is now calling for an international investigation.

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Turkey Rejects Saudi Claim on Khashoggi’s Killing

Turkey has dismissed Saudi Arabia’s latest version of events in the October 2 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi authorities announced this week 11 people are being charged with the writer’s killing and that the death penalty is sought for five. The country’s deputy public prosecutor alleged Khashoggi was killed in a  rogue operation that went wrong when a fight broke out as he was being injected with a drug and tied up.

“I have to say that I did not find some of the [Saudi] statements satisfactory,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Thursday.

Cavusoglu went on to repeat Ankara’s claim Khashoggi was the victim of premeditated murder.

Turkey’s political leadership has been at the forefront of challenging Saudi Arabia about the killing, forcing its leadership to repeatedly change its story.

Senior members of Turkey’s ruling AK Party joined hundreds of supporters and friends at an Istanbul mosque on Friday to pray for Khashoggi and vow that justice will be done.

“We are going to be defenders of his cause. What we want is not revenge but justice,” said Yasin Aktay, deputy AK head and friend of Khashoggi, addressing mourners.

“There are 15 people defined as perpetrators [in Khashoggi’s death], but they didn’t make this decision on their own. This is the story being sold to us, and we don’t believe in it,“ he added, criticizing Saudi Arabia’s latest version of Khashoggi’s killing.

Saudi Arabia’s changing story

In the first few days following Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi officials maintained that the journalist left the consulate after a visit for marriage documents.

Following sustained pressure by Ankara, through a campaign of leaks to international media of information about the killing, Saudi Arabia finally acknowledged the writer died in the consulate.

On Thursday, columnist Abdulkadir Selvi of Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper wrote that a 15-minute recording of Khashoggi’s killers undermines Riyadh’s claim the death wasn’t premeditated.

“The Saudi team discusses how to execute Khashoggi. They are reviewing their plan, which was previously prepared, and reminding themselves of the duties of each member,” wrote Selvi, who has close links to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey has already shared a seven-minute audio recording capturing Khashoggi’s killing with its Western allies and Saudi authorities. Until now, it has been widely assumed the tape was the key piece of evidence held by Turkish investigators. The claim of further recordings is likely to increase pressure on the Saudis and, in particular, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Erdogan has repeatedly alluded to the crown prince’s alleged involvement, a charge Riyadh strongly denies. Washington, a key ally of the crown prince, continues to back him publicly. And analysts suggest the US is increasingly looking to Erdogan for a resolution of the diplomatic crisis, given his country’s pivotal role in the death investigation.

“In the Khashoggi case, they have very good communication with Washington, said former senior Turkish diplomat Aydin Selcen, who served in Washington.

This past week, a U.S. media report suggested Washington was looking into the extradition of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in exchange for Ankara’s easing pressure on Riyadh.

Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in the state of Pennsylvania and denies Turkey’s accusation of involvement in a failed Turkish coup in 2016.

Washington denies any deal, but U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Thursday , “We continue to evaluate the material that the Turkish government presents requesting his extradition.”

Gulen’s extradition is a top diplomatic priority for Turkey even as it dismisses any talk of a deal.

“Turkey’s pending request for Fethullah Gulen’s extradition from the United States and the investigation into Khashoggi’s murder are two separate issues. They are not connected in any way, shape or form,” said a senior Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“At no point did Turkey offer to hold back on the Khashoggi investigation in return for Fethullah Gulen’s extradition,” he added.

Analysts point out it’s doubtful Washington could make such an offer, given Gulen’s extradition is a matter for the courts, which experts say is a potentially lengthy and challenging process.

Also, analysts say since Erdogan sees the Saudi crown prince as his chief rival in the region, his goals may extend well beyond an extradition.

“We are in a new phase, and there will be more cooperation between the U.S. and Turkey. And this is part of replacing Mohammed bin Salman,” said former Turkish diplomat Selcen.

“What Erdogan wants to harvest from this case of Khashoggi’s murder,” he added, “is to replace Mohammed bin Salman as the pivotal actor, the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the Middle East.”

Some observers suggest while Turkey has so far handled the Khashoggi case with skill, it could be in danger of overreach, given the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

But they say the U.S. and Saudi Arabia likely will continue to be on the defensive, especially that Turkey, which may well have more incriminating evidence in the case, is now calling for an international investigation.

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Britain’s May Sticks to Brexit Deal as Rebellion Grows

Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May came out fighting Friday in defense of her contentious draft Brexit deal, calling on the British public to back her. But critics within her party, who complain the proposed agreement would turn Britain into a “vassal state,” mounted a formal bid to oust her.

The proposed deal with the European Union, more than two years after Britons voted in a referendum to exit the bloc, has triggered half-a-dozen ministerial resignations.

It also prompted high drama in the House of Commons, where May received the most hostile reception a sitting prime minister has endured since 1940, when Neville Chamberlain was pushed out of office at the start of the Second World War.

The withdrawal deal has been pronounced “dead on arrival” by lawmakers across the political spectrum. They say the agreement won’t gain parliamentary backing in a planned vote next month. The deal would see Britain remaining in the EU’s customs union, which address imports and exports, for an indefinite period and subject to the bloc’s rules and regulations without having any say about them

May maintained during a radio interview Friday that she has negotiated the best deal possible, despite it crossing many “red lines” she had set previously. May and her loyalists say there is no alternative to the proposed withdrawal agreement that runs to 538 pages and took many months of tortuous negotiations to seal, because the alternatives are even more unpalatable for Britain or impossible to get the EU and its 27 member countries to accept.

May says the draft agreement is just a staging post, a temporary deal that’s in place while Britain negotiates over the next few years a fuller free trade deal with the bloc. Her supporters say it is no time for a change in leadership with just over four months to go before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU, deal or no deal.

“I am not sure any other prime minister could have done any better,” said Simon Hart, a Conservative lawmaker. “I will say one thing for the prime minister — you can never doubt her resilience and stoicism,” he added.

Partial relief

The prime minister got some relief Friday when a senior minister, Michael Gove, who had been rumored to be resigning to protest the draft deal, said he would be staying in the Cabinet.

It remains unclear, however, whether other prominent hardline Brexiters in May’s thinning Cabinet will follow Gove’s cue over the next few weeks and decide against tendering their resignations. So far, several other Brexiters in the Cabinet have indicated they will stay to work together to improve the deal. “Resigning and joining a rebellion is not going to help anything,” said one of their aides.

Whether their resolve will hold is another thing, if the internecine [destructive] rebellion against May gains momentum.

“Then they will have to consider how their choice plays out in any future leadership election they may want to compete in,” said a party official.

And talk of renegotiation is being rebuffed by EU officials, who on Friday cautioned that the agreement is the best they can do and there can be no changes.

“This is a good deal for both sides,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday. “No one was tricked into anything,” said Kurz, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency until the end of the year. He warned that the only alternative would be for Britain to leave the EU without any deal, which “would hurt Britain badly.”

Mounting leadership challenges

Gove’s decision not to resign didn’t stop more Conservative lawmakers from lodging formal letters with party authorities calling for a vote of no confidence in May as party leader, the first stage in a leadership challenge.

As May started her effort to sell the deal to the public, John Whittingdale, a Brexiter and former culture secretary, filed his letter, joining more than two dozen other Conservative rebels who have publicly called for her to step aside.

“I believe that the agreement that is being proposed does not deliver Brexit in the way that I and many others want to see. It leaves us locked in indefinitely into the customs union. I also don’t think it can get through the House of Commons,” he wrote.

May’s party critics accuse her of going from her oft-stated position that “no deal is better than a bad deal” to one where she appears to accept “any deal is better than no deal.”

“It is no good trying to pretend that the deal honors the result of the referendum when it is obvious to everyone it doesn’t,” said Esther McVey, who resigned this week as works and pension minister.

Time on May’s side

Whether the deal honors what the majority of Britons voted for in June 2016 may be a moot point, say analysts. In trying to sell a deal that satisfies neither Brexiters, who want a sharp break with the EU, nor Remainers, who say staying as a member of the bloc is the only thing that won’t damage Britain, May, if she can see off the rebellion, has time on her side, they say.

She is banking on securing a majority next month for her deal when parliament is scheduled to vote formally on it, by daring lawmakers across the political spectrum — all the opposition parties have formally come out against the deal — to let a “no-deal Brexit” go ahead, likely triggering a recession and leaving behind it bankrupt businesses and ruined livelihoods.

The fear of quitting the EU without a deal seems to be persuading some lawmakers who dislike the agreement to accept they have no option but to back it.

“The most likely alternative is we leave the EU with no deal at all,” wrote Nicky Morgan, a former Conservative minister, in an article for The Guardian newspaper. “And I believe that would be deeply damaging to our economy and our constituents. I cannot sign up to that.”

Party officials, known as Whips, were mounting a feverish effort Friday to dissuade Conservative lawmakers from insisting on holding a no-confidence vote on May’s leadership. Their biggest fear is that if they are unable to do so before lawmakers head back to their constituencies, where the draft agreement is highly unpopular among grassroots Conservatives, then the prime minister will not be able to avoid a leadership challenge and the rebellion will gather steam, analysts say.

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Britain’s May Sticks to Brexit Deal as Rebellion Grows

Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May came out fighting Friday in defense of her contentious draft Brexit deal, calling on the British public to back her. But critics within her party, who complain the proposed agreement would turn Britain into a “vassal state,” mounted a formal bid to oust her.

The proposed deal with the European Union, more than two years after Britons voted in a referendum to exit the bloc, has triggered half-a-dozen ministerial resignations.

It also prompted high drama in the House of Commons, where May received the most hostile reception a sitting prime minister has endured since 1940, when Neville Chamberlain was pushed out of office at the start of the Second World War.

The withdrawal deal has been pronounced “dead on arrival” by lawmakers across the political spectrum. They say the agreement won’t gain parliamentary backing in a planned vote next month. The deal would see Britain remaining in the EU’s customs union, which address imports and exports, for an indefinite period and subject to the bloc’s rules and regulations without having any say about them

May maintained during a radio interview Friday that she has negotiated the best deal possible, despite it crossing many “red lines” she had set previously. May and her loyalists say there is no alternative to the proposed withdrawal agreement that runs to 538 pages and took many months of tortuous negotiations to seal, because the alternatives are even more unpalatable for Britain or impossible to get the EU and its 27 member countries to accept.

May says the draft agreement is just a staging post, a temporary deal that’s in place while Britain negotiates over the next few years a fuller free trade deal with the bloc. Her supporters say it is no time for a change in leadership with just over four months to go before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU, deal or no deal.

“I am not sure any other prime minister could have done any better,” said Simon Hart, a Conservative lawmaker. “I will say one thing for the prime minister — you can never doubt her resilience and stoicism,” he added.

Partial relief

The prime minister got some relief Friday when a senior minister, Michael Gove, who had been rumored to be resigning to protest the draft deal, said he would be staying in the Cabinet.

It remains unclear, however, whether other prominent hardline Brexiters in May’s thinning Cabinet will follow Gove’s cue over the next few weeks and decide against tendering their resignations. So far, several other Brexiters in the Cabinet have indicated they will stay to work together to improve the deal. “Resigning and joining a rebellion is not going to help anything,” said one of their aides.

Whether their resolve will hold is another thing, if the internecine [destructive] rebellion against May gains momentum.

“Then they will have to consider how their choice plays out in any future leadership election they may want to compete in,” said a party official.

And talk of renegotiation is being rebuffed by EU officials, who on Friday cautioned that the agreement is the best they can do and there can be no changes.

“This is a good deal for both sides,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday. “No one was tricked into anything,” said Kurz, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency until the end of the year. He warned that the only alternative would be for Britain to leave the EU without any deal, which “would hurt Britain badly.”

Mounting leadership challenges

Gove’s decision not to resign didn’t stop more Conservative lawmakers from lodging formal letters with party authorities calling for a vote of no confidence in May as party leader, the first stage in a leadership challenge.

As May started her effort to sell the deal to the public, John Whittingdale, a Brexiter and former culture secretary, filed his letter, joining more than two dozen other Conservative rebels who have publicly called for her to step aside.

“I believe that the agreement that is being proposed does not deliver Brexit in the way that I and many others want to see. It leaves us locked in indefinitely into the customs union. I also don’t think it can get through the House of Commons,” he wrote.

May’s party critics accuse her of going from her oft-stated position that “no deal is better than a bad deal” to one where she appears to accept “any deal is better than no deal.”

“It is no good trying to pretend that the deal honors the result of the referendum when it is obvious to everyone it doesn’t,” said Esther McVey, who resigned this week as works and pension minister.

Time on May’s side

Whether the deal honors what the majority of Britons voted for in June 2016 may be a moot point, say analysts. In trying to sell a deal that satisfies neither Brexiters, who want a sharp break with the EU, nor Remainers, who say staying as a member of the bloc is the only thing that won’t damage Britain, May, if she can see off the rebellion, has time on her side, they say.

She is banking on securing a majority next month for her deal when parliament is scheduled to vote formally on it, by daring lawmakers across the political spectrum — all the opposition parties have formally come out against the deal — to let a “no-deal Brexit” go ahead, likely triggering a recession and leaving behind it bankrupt businesses and ruined livelihoods.

The fear of quitting the EU without a deal seems to be persuading some lawmakers who dislike the agreement to accept they have no option but to back it.

“The most likely alternative is we leave the EU with no deal at all,” wrote Nicky Morgan, a former Conservative minister, in an article for The Guardian newspaper. “And I believe that would be deeply damaging to our economy and our constituents. I cannot sign up to that.”

Party officials, known as Whips, were mounting a feverish effort Friday to dissuade Conservative lawmakers from insisting on holding a no-confidence vote on May’s leadership. Their biggest fear is that if they are unable to do so before lawmakers head back to their constituencies, where the draft agreement is highly unpopular among grassroots Conservatives, then the prime minister will not be able to avoid a leadership challenge and the rebellion will gather steam, analysts say.

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Голову ВККС облили зеленкою – ЗМІ

Невідомі напали на голову Вищої кваліфікаційної комісії суддів Сергія Козьякова в Києві і облили його зеленкою, повідомляє профільне видання «Судово-юридична газета».

За даними ЗМІ, один із нападників плеснув барвником в обличчя правникові, інший – облив йому одяг. Це сталося, коли Козьяков виходив із готелю, де проходив Сьомий судовий форум, уточнюють журналісти.

Речниця Вищої кваліфікаційної комісії суддів Світлана Максимова в коментарі Радіо Свобода сказала, що поки не може підтвердити інформацію про напад, адже ще не зв’язувалася з головою ВККС.

«Ми ще з ним не спілкувались, він до комісії ще не доїхав. Зв’язку з ним зараз немає», – зізналася вона.

Сьомий судовий форум 15 і 16 листопада триває у Києві. Його організовує Асоціація правникві України спільно з Радою Європи. За даними ВККС, представники комісії на форумі обговорювали процедури, які виконує комісія в рамках судової реформи.

Більше цікавих новин, які не потрапили на сайт, – у Telegram-каналі Радіо Свобода. Долучайтеся!

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Голову ВККС облили зеленкою – ЗМІ

Невідомі напали на голову Вищої кваліфікаційної комісії суддів Сергія Козьякова в Києві і облили його зеленкою, повідомляє профільне видання «Судово-юридична газета».

За даними ЗМІ, один із нападників плеснув барвником в обличчя правникові, інший – облив йому одяг. Це сталося, коли Козьяков виходив із готелю, де проходив Сьомий судовий форум, уточнюють журналісти.

Речниця Вищої кваліфікаційної комісії суддів Світлана Максимова в коментарі Радіо Свобода сказала, що поки не може підтвердити інформацію про напад, адже ще не зв’язувалася з головою ВККС.

«Ми ще з ним не спілкувались, він до комісії ще не доїхав. Зв’язку з ним зараз немає», – зізналася вона.

Сьомий судовий форум 15 і 16 листопада триває у Києві. Його організовує Асоціація правникві України спільно з Радою Європи. За даними ВККС, представники комісії на форумі обговорювали процедури, які виконує комісія в рамках судової реформи.

Більше цікавих новин, які не потрапили на сайт, – у Telegram-каналі Радіо Свобода. Долучайтеся!

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Міністерство культури оскаржує дії реєстратора щодо Почаївської лаври – прокуратура

Національна поліція проводить досудове розслідування у кримінальному провадженні за фактом неправомірних дій державного реєстратора

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Міністерство культури оскаржує дії реєстратора щодо Почаївської лаври – прокуратура

Національна поліція проводить досудове розслідування у кримінальному провадженні за фактом неправомірних дій державного реєстратора

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