Turkish Official: Saudis Used Bone Saw to Dismember Body of Jamal Khashoggi

Toby Graves
October 11, 2018

On Wednesday, the Post published a column by Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

Earlier in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters he had raised Khashoggi's case with Saudi Arabia "at the highest level" and a few times in recent days. "I don't like hearing about it", Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.

"People who have long thought of themselves as Saudi's friends are saying this is a very, very serious matter", he said. "I don't think that we actually need proof, but there's enough to indicate that they were involved".

A United Nations human rights expert has said the investigation into the disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Turkey "should not be politicized", insisting the case has created a dilemma for the Turkish government.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which ranks the kingdom 169th out of 180 on its World Press Freedom Index, said in a statement that between 25 and 30 professional and non-professional journalists are now detained in Saudi Arabia.

If evidence implicates the Saudi Government in Khashoggi's disappearance or death, it would indicate a new level of violence that authorities are willing to undertake to silence criticism of the crown prince, whose jailing of opponents at home has undercut his efforts to fashion himself as a moderniser of his conservative kingdom.

A source in the investigation team set up by the Turkish General Directorate of Security to investigate the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi revealed that the prosecutor in Istanbul will issue charges of hiding or killing a person against 15 Saudis who Turkish sources have said were security officers who arrived on board two planes and were in the consulate at the same time as Khashoggi.

Cases included that of Saleh al-Shihi, a journalist whose arrest was only confirmed in February when his family learned he had been sentenced to five years in prison, RSF said.

But the Saudi government asserted Khashoggi left the premises shortly after his visit and claimed they too were anxious for him.

Trump said nobody knows exactly what happened and expressed hope that Khashoggi is not dead.

"Jamal Khashoggi lost control of his fate when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul".

He added that the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis have said that concrete steps will be taken in the coming days. For us, but especially for Jamal, it was particularly significant.

The Washington Post, where Khashoggi had been a regular contributor over the past year, also called for answers. Turkish officials fear the team killed Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The release of the photographs and video raises pressure on Saudi Arabia a week after Khashoggi disappeared during a visit to the consulate.

Earlier, Turkish daily Sabah listed the names and images of 15 suspected Saudi operatives who landed in Istanbul on the day Khashoggi vanished last week after entering the Saudi consulate.

Turkish investigators say CCTV footage shows the moment he entered the consulate, and that he never exited.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that us intelligence had intercepted the communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, citing an unidentified person familiar with the information.

Administration officials have not commented on the intelligence reports that showed a Saudi plan to lure Khashoggi.

But State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters they had no such tip.

On Wednesday, Turkish media outlets published CCTV footage, which they say shows evidence of a plot linked to Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

The two sides have cooperated on challenging Iran, on supporting Israel and on the war against the Houthis.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government and Prince Mohammed in particular.

Khashoggi had, however, voiced distrust of the Saudi officials, and said they were unlikely to keep their words.

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