Turkey Allegedly Has Recording Proving Saudi Journalist’s Torture and Murder

By Tom Ozimek

Turkish officials have audio and visual evidence that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, according to multiple reports.

An unnamed source told CNN that foreign intelligence, which received a briefing on the evidence from Turkish officials, found the material “shocking and disgusting.”

Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the Saudi regime, entered the country’s consulate on Oct. 2 for matters related to paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancee. He has not been seen or heard from since.

Turkey has said it officially considers the Washington Post columnist missing, but that it believes with certainty he is dead.

Saudi journalist Jamal consulate
CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Oct. 9, 2018, claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 2, 2018. (CCTV/Hurriyet/AP)

Turkish intelligence is now said to be in possession of “documented evidence” of the journalist’s murder inside the Saudi consulate, a source close to the investigation told the BBC.

Saudi Arabia denies the allegations, saying the journalist left the building.

The kingdom’s ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said in a statement that reports suggesting Khashoggi went missing in the Istanbul consulate or that Saudi Arabia had killed him “are absolutely false and baseless” and a product of “malicious leaks and grim rumors.”

Reuters reported on Oct. 6 that two Turkish sources, whose names were not disclosed, said Khashoggi’s body was moved out of the consulate after the alleged murder.

The government in Ankara has agreed to a joint investigation with the Saudis, and a Saudi delegation arrived in Turkey on Friday for talks.

an official walks outside the saudi consulate in Istanbul
An official walks to the gate of Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 10, 2018. (Reuters/Osman Orsal)

International Outrage

Khashoggi’s disappearance and reported death have sparked international condemnation and dented business confidence in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. State Department has called on Saudi Arabia to conduct a “thorough” probe and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “the United States is concerned by his disappearance.”

“It’s a very sad situation, it’s a very bad situation and we want to get to the bottom of it,” President Donald Trump said. “We are going to take a very serious look.”

Vice President Mike Pence echoed the president’s remarks and said the international community “deserves answers.”

“Deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. If true, this is a tragic day,” Pence wrote on Twitter. “Violence against journalists across the globe is a threat to freedom of the press & human rights.”

Business tycoon Sir Richard Branson said in a statement he has halted talks over a $1 billion Saudi investment in Virgin space firms due to the case.

What’s On the Recordings?

Multiple reports claim an assault and a struggle took place in the consulate.

One unnamed source is cited by the Washington Post as saying men can be heard beating Khashoggi. The same source said the recordings show the journalist was killed and dismembered.

“You can hear his voice and the voices of the men speaking Arabic,” another source reportedly told the Post. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”

Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi
Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi speaks at an event hosted by Middle East Monitor in London, Britain, Sept. 29, 2018. (Middle East Monitor/Handout via Reuters)

Saudi Hit Squad?

The Epoch Times reported on a Turkish newspaper’s claim that a 15-member Saudi intelligence team was involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The Daily Sabah published images and security video of the so-called “assassination squad” as they entered the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul.

Sabah reported that 12 of the members arrived early on the day of the disappearance, based on photos captured at passport control, adding that the 15 departed at four different times.

From The Epoch Times