Saudi officials have heard tapes of writer's death, says Turkish president

15 November, 2018, 07:04 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Jamal Khashoggi

Turkey says the Washington Post columnist, who was critical of the Saudi crown prince, was strangled and dismembered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 by a 15-member assassination squad.

President Donald Trump has expressed reluctance to punish Saudi Arabia economically, citing the kingdom's multibillion-dollar purchases of United States military equipment and investments in USA companies.

"We gave them the tapes".

Bolton, speaking on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore, said that while he had not listened to the tape himself, "those who have listened to it" concluded that Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler is not implicated.

He said: "Are they trying to cover up this murder?"

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel heard an audio recording of Khashoggi's death when she visited Istanbul, two sources told Reuters last month.

Karaman said that Daily Sabah would soon publish images of the tools that were brought into the country and used by the Saudi group.

"The (content of the) tape is a real calamity".

Recordings of the October 2 operation, carried out by a 15-man hit squad inside Istanbul's Saudi Consulate, have been shared with Western intelligence officials.

Saudi authorities initially denied all knowledge of Khashoggi's fate before admitting that he was killed "accidentally" in a fist fight at the consulate by "rogue" agents.

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American intelligence officials said "your boss" was a reference to MbS.

Broadcaster CNN says it has obtained footage which appears to show the man leaving the Istanbul consulate dressed in Mr Khashoggi's clothes and wearing glasses and a fake beard. Qahtani did not respond to questions from Reuters at the time.

The state-run Saudi News Agency said King Salman and Hunt discussed bilateral relations and the latest regional developments. There was no indication that any of the suspects were detained. During the call, the prince had tried to convince Khashoggi to return to Riyadh, according to Yeni Safak. "They know for certain who among the 15 is the killer or are the killers", he said.

"The murderers are among those 18 people".

On Tuesday, Turkish media also reported that a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate had been found in the Sultangazi district of the city. "The prosecutor came to Turkey to make excuses, make things hard", he said. A recording collected by Turkish intelligence reportedly includes audio of a member of the kill squad informing someone to "tell your boss" - believed to be the crown prince - that they had finished their mission.

No body has yet been found and a Turkish official said it had been dissolved in acid.

Canada's spy chief travelled to Turkey at the request of the prime minister and heard a recording of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says.

Erdogan said it was clear the murder had been planned, and that the order came from the top level of Saudi authorities but that he could not think such a thing of King Salman.

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They also agreed that the matter should not be allowed to cause further destabilisation in the Middle East and that it could create an opportunity to find a political resolution to the war in Yemen, according to the official.

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