Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi's killing

Muriel Colon
October 22, 2018

Turkish officials said a 15-member Saudi team flew to Istanbul, waited for Khashoggi at the consulate before killing and dismembering the 59-year-old writer.

Newspaper publishers and editors around the world are demanding Saudi Arabia provide immediate answers in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

On Sunday, its foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, went further, describing Khashoggi's death on Fox News as a "murder" and a "tremendous mistake". Saudi Arabia has threatened to retaliate against any punitive action, but analysts say that wielding its main weapon - oil production - could backfire, putting the prince's economic goals even further out of reach.

"The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority", he said.

The source said dressing Madani up as Khashoggi and claiming he left the building was a plan hatched before Khashoggi's death, and shows that his killing was premeditated.

The latest account includes details on how 15 Saudis sent to confront Khashoggi had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and killed him in a chokehold when he resisted.

The UK, France and Germany said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia's version of Khashoggi's death needs to be supported by "facts" to be considered "credible".

As of now, 18 Saudi suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the incident and two senior Saudi officials fired.

Saudi Arabia has presented a shifting narrative of what happened to Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of Saudi's authoritarian regime and was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

"It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", Mr Trump said, adding: "Who knows?" Turkish sources say the authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting Mr Khashoggi's murder inside the consulate.

They said: "Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms".

President Trump had also talked about possible punishment but said he didn't want to halt a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia because, he maintained, it would harm USA manufacturers.

The exclusive footage, which is part of the investigation led by the Turkish government, shows the body double leaving the Saudi consulate premises from the rear entrance after Khashoggi entered on Oct 2. "Then Prince Mohammed contacted Khashoggi by phone and tried to convince him to return to Riyadh", the report alleges.

"The Turks have been talking more to the media than they have us", Corker said of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Safak said Saudi security official Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, the alleged the leader of the operation, called the head of Prince Mohammed's office, Bader al-Asaker, "four times after the murder". But in an interview with The Post late Saturday, Trump conceded that there had been "deception".

Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan has announced he will "go into detail" about the Khashoggi investigation, including what authorities know about the 15-member "hit squad", in a special parliamentary address on Tuesday.

Corker - who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - called for a "collective response" by the United States, Britain, France and Germany if an investigation reveals that the crown prince was behind Khashoggi's killing. The president has raised the possibility of imposing sanctions but said halting an arms deal would "hurt us more than it would hurt them".

Trump said: "We'd like to find out where it is and what happened".

President Donald Trump says he needs to learn more about the killing of a Saudi journalist and will be working with Congress on the US response.

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