Saudi Arabia: Rogues Reportedly Killed Journalist In Cold Blood

Share

A man appearing to wear Jamal Khashoggi's clothes can be seen on surveillance video leaving the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after the journalist was killed there, according to reports.

There are suspicions that Jamal Khashoggi was sadistically mutilated by 15 Saudi Arabian nationals for the journalist's columns that heavily criticized Saudi's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Meanwhile, Turkish crime scene investigators have arrived at an underground auto park in Istanbul where authorities earlier found a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate. Meanwhile, business leaders say they won't attend an upcoming economic summit in the kingdom that's the brainchild of Prince Mohammed.

Khashoggi, a Virginia-based journalist and a staunch critic of Riyadh, fled Saudi Arabia last September.

"The president conveyed his concerns about the case, and said that Indonesia hopes that the investigation will be conducted transparently and thoroughly", Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said.

The killing of Jamal Khashoggi was "a violently planned" murder that was subsequently covered up, the spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party said Monday.

"We will continue in that relationship, while we also simultaneously want to get to the bottom of what the facts are about the Khashoggi situation, which is obviously a bad situation", Mnuchin told reporters, adding it would be "premature to comment on sanctions" before a probe into the writer's death is complete. "This is a mistake and those responsible will be punished for it". But the Saudi's claim that the 59-year-old Washington Post columnist died in a fistfight contradicted Turkey's accounts that he was tortured, killed and dismembered by members of the crown prince's entourage. "This is a setback for that", Trump told The Washington Post in a weekend phone interview. "Everyone (else) can speculate but we cannot speculate", he noted.

The journalist's fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate's front entrance and raised the alarm when he didn't return, was told by a consulate guard that he may have exited the building through the back door, Khashoggi's friend Turan Kislakci told CNN.

Surveillance video on CNN showed the man in Khashoggi's dress shirt, suit jacket and trousers, although he wore a different pair of shoes. He later eats dinner with his accomplice and goes back to a hotel, where footage shows him smiling and laughing.

Senior aides close to the prince have been fired over Khashoggi's killing, and 18 suspects have been arrested.

The fact that the Saudi team would allegedly have a man walking around in Khashoggi's clothes would suggest a premeditated plot to kill the writer.

The prince contacted Khashoggi shortly after he was detained inside the consulate, Turkish pro-government paper Yeni Safak reported on Sunday, citing its own sources.

He said the United States was in a "fact-finding phase" on the case and had its "eyes wide open".

Saudi Arabia recently committed to investing $10 billion in South Africa.

Turkish police say they have asked prosecutors and the Saudi consulate for permission to search the vehicle, after cordoning off access to the auto park. He then arrived at a restaurant, and surveillance footage showed he removed a fake beard he was wearing.

Mutreb's name also matches that of a first secretary who once served as a diplomat at the Saudi Embassy in London, according to a 2007 list compiled by the British Foreign Office.

The auto, which had diplomatic number plates, was found in an underground vehicle park in the Sultangazi district of the city, AFP quoted the state-run Anadolu news agency and TRT World channel as saying.

The video was taken by Turkish law enforcement and shown Monday on CNN, suggesting Saudi agents used a body double in an effort to hide the murder.

On Monday, Trump said he had spoken with bin Salman about the investigation into Khashoggi's death, adding that more details will become apparent tonight or tomorrow morning.

Statements from the agency said both the king and the crown prince expressed their condolences over Mr Khashoggi's death. Once close with the Saudi elites, Khashoggi fled the kingdom previous year in fear of possible prosecution.

Share