Turkey has ‘shocking’ audio and visual evidence of Saudi journalist’s gruesome murder
- October 12, 2018
Turkish authorities have audio and visual evidence that shows journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul just over a week ago, a source familiar with the ongoing investigation told CNN.
The source, who was briefed by a Western intelligence agency, says the evidence showed there had been an assault and a struggle inside the consulate. There is also evidence of the moment that Khashoggi was killed, the source said.
The foreign intelligence service was shocked by the nature of the evidence, provided in a briefing from Turkish officials, the source told CNN.
Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, walked into the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 intending to get paperwork that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée. He hasn’t been seen in public since.
Saudi Arabia firmly denies any involvement in his disappearance and says he left the consulate that afternoon. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside says she did not see him re-emerge. Turkey has called on Saudi officials to provide evidence that he left the consulate, as they claim.
The Washington Post reported late Thursday that the Turkish government had told US officials that it was in possession of audio and video recordings proving that Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate, citing unnamed US and Turkish sources.
The audio recording in particular provided “persuasive and gruesome evidence” that a Saudi team dispatched to Istanbul was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the Post reported.
“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” one person with knowledge of the recording told the Post. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
International pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi, a former Saudi royal insider who became a critic of the regime and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is known as MBS.
The business world has also signaled its disquiet, with British tycoon Richard Branson saying he’s pulling back from two tourism projects in Saudi Arabia and has suspended discussions with Riyadh about a $1 billion investment in Virgin’s space companies. Business leaders have also started pulling out of a key conference hosted by MBS in late October.
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