Khashoggi Double Sent to Produce False Trail in Turkey, Surveillance Photos Show
BEIRUT, Lebanon &mdash Right after the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a member of the 15-man team that had flown in to confront him place on Mr. Khashoggi&rsquos clothes and left the developing to develop a misleading trail of proof, surveillance photos released by Turkey on Monday showed.
The ruse, which was acknowledged by a Saudi official and a Saudi briefed on the investigation into Mr. Khashoggi&rsquos killing, added to the quite a few doubts about the kingdom&rsquos explanation of how the 59-year-old writer died.
In a narrative that has been met with wide skepticism by Turkish and American officials, Saudi Arabia has mentioned that the group sought to persuade Mr. Khashoggi to return residence but that he resisted, prompting a fistfight in which 1 of the men place Mr. Khashoggi in a chokehold and accidentally killed him.
Saudi officials have insisted that the kingdom&rsquos rulers, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, did not know about the operation ahead of time and that the team was not dispatched from Riyadh with orders to kill Mr. Khashoggi.
But in that story, it is unclear what role there would have been for a large, middle-aged man with gray hair who resembled Mr. Khashoggi. The other members of the group had been younger and had clear ties to the Saudi military and security solutions.
The use of a &ldquobody double&rdquo suggests a premeditated strategy to make Mr. Khashoggi disappear, through death or abduction, and to cover it up &mdash possibly contradicting the Saudi insistence that his death was the accidental result of an altercation. Turkish officials have stated that the Saudi group, which left Turkey hours soon after it had arrived, was sent to Istanbul to kill Mr. Khashoggi.
Till this past Saturday, the Saudis had insisted that Mr. Khashoggi left the consulate &mdash a false narrative that would have been substantiated by someone seen departing the developing who resembled him.
Turkish officials have asserted for weeks that they have proof that Saudi officials set out to kill Mr. Khashoggi, and have orchestrated a steady stream of leaks to the news media to preserve stress on the Saudis and undermine their denials. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he would soon reveal everything Turkey knows about the case.
A Turkish newspaper, Haberturk, reported Saturday that an individual who looked like Mr. Khashoggi left the Saudi Consulate on Oct. two, the day the dissident was killed inside the building. On Monday, CNN showed images, leaked by the Turkish authorities, that show that man strolling around Istanbul, apparently wearing Mr. Khashoggi&rsquos garments.
&ldquoThey panicked following he died, and in order to make it seem he left the consulate, they decided to impersonate him,&rdquo mentioned the Saudi official who was briefed on the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity since the investigation is ongoing.
The official also mentioned that the physique was rolled in a rug and provided to a regional collaborator to dispose of. Turkish officials have stated that Mr. Khashoggi&rsquos physique was dismembered ahead of being removed from the consulate.
After weeks of insisting that Mr. Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States and who wrote columns for The Washington Post, had left the consulate alive and properly, the Saudi government acknowledged on Saturday that he had been killed there, and stated that 18 men and women faced discipline for the incident.
The case has caused an international uproar, driving a wedge in between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and chilling the Saudis&rsquo relations with Western countries, which includes the United States.
Britain, France and Germany stated in a joint statement on Sunday that they would in the end make their judgments about what occurred primarily based on the &ldquocredibility of the further explanation we acquire,&rdquo and created clear that they wanted assurances that such &ldquoa shameful event&rdquo would not come about again. Saudi Arabia needs to do much more to figure out the truth and hold these accountable accountable, the countries mentioned.
Germany has suspended arms sales to the kingdom, but it is not a significant source of Saudi arms. The United States and Britain rank first and second, with France a distant third, according to the Stockholm Institute on International Peace, which tracks arms sales.
Also weighing in was the European Union&rsquos foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who described the info that has turn into public so far as a &ldquoshocking violation&rdquo of international conventions that outline norms of consular behavior.
On Sunday, the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, gave the initial public, higher-level acknowledgment that there had been a cover-up, but he and other officials continue to say that the death was an accident, and that it was not ordered by Prince Mohammed, the kingdom&rsquos day-to-day ruler. Western intelligence officials have mentioned that he most likely ordered the operation, and that a number of members of the group that flew to Istanbul have ties to the crown prince, who is often referred to by his initials, MBS.
Martin Dempsey, a former chairman of the United States&rsquo Joint Chiefs of Employees who has lived in Saudi Arabia, wrote Monday on Twitter, &ldquoabsolutely no way that MBS was unaware of Khashoggi murder.&rdquo
On Monday, the Turkish public broadcasting news channel TRT reported that a vehicle found abandoned by the police in a parking lot in Istanbul matched the description and license plates of a car that belonged to the Saudi Consulate and was observed outside the building on the day Mr. Khashoggi disappeared.
Mr. Khashoggi&rsquos fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has been placed under police protection, a Turkish official mentioned on Monday. The official said the measure had been taken not simply because of any particular threat, but since Ms. Cengiz, who was to marry Mr. Khashoggi the day soon after he went to the Saudi Consulate, had been the target of online abuse.
Far more in Middle East
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One particular Killing, Two Accounts: What We Know About Jamal Khashoggi&rsquos Death
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Published at Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:58:39 +0000