Saudis despatched ‘clean-up’ workforce to Turkey after Khashoggi killing, official says By EconomySquare
By Orhan Coskun
ANKARA (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia despatched a two-man “clean-up team” to erase proof of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing per week after he disappeared on the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish official mentioned on Monday, calling it an indication prime Saudi officers knew of the crime.
Confirming a report in Turkey’s pro-government Sabah newspaper, the official mentioned the chemist and toxicologist had been tasked with erasing proof earlier than Turkish investigators got entry to the Saudi consulate and consul’s residence.
Sabah recognized the 2 males as Ahmed Abdulaziz al-Jonabi and Khaled Yahya al-Zahrani, saying they arrived in Turkey as a part of an 11-person workforce despatched to hold out the inspections with Turkish officers.
Khashoggi, a Washington Submit columnist vital of the Saudi authorities and its de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, disappeared on the consulate on Oct. 2.
Saudi officers initially insisted Khashoggi had left the consulate, then mentioned he died in an unplanned “rogue operation”. The dominion’s public prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb later mentioned he was killed in a premeditated assault.
Turkish and Saudi officers have carried out joint inspections of the consulate and consul’s residence in Istanbul, however President Tayyip Erdogan says some Saudi officers are nonetheless attempting to cowl up the crime. Ankara has additionally demanded Riyadh cooperate find Khashoggi’s physique, which Istanbul’s chief prosecutor mentioned had been dismembered.
A senior Turkish official confirmed the names of the lads recognized on Monday by Sabah. “We believe that the two individuals came to Turkey for the sole purpose of covering up evidence of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder before the Turkish police were allowed to search the premises,” the official mentioned.
The 2 people carried out clean-up operations on the consulate and the consul’s residence in Istanbul till October 17 and left the nation three days later, he mentioned.
“The fact that a clean-up team was dispatched from Saudi Arabia nine days after the murder suggests that Khashoggi’s slaying was within the knowledge of top Saudi officials,” the official mentioned.
Saudi Arabia says 18 individuals have been detained over Khashoggi’s killing and the top of its human rights fee advised a gathering in Geneva on Monday Riyadh was investigating the case with a view to prosecuting the perpetrators.
Saudi Arabia’s conflicting accounts of Khashoggi’s killing have prompted worldwide outcry towards the world’s prime oil exporter, upending the younger crown prince’s worldwide picture as a reformer.
Turkey has launched a stream of proof difficult the preliminary Saudi denials of involvement, and continues to press Riyadh for particulars.
On Monday Vice President Fuat Oktay known as for an investigation into newspaper stories final week that Khashoggi’s physique was disposed of by dissolving it in acid.
“The question now is who gave the orders. This is what we are seeking answers to now,” Fuat Oktay advised Anadolu information company. “Another question is where the body is… There are reports of (the body) being dissolved with acid now. All of these need to be looked at”.
In an article within the Washington Submit on Friday, Erdogan mentioned the order to kill Khashoggi got here from the “highest levels” of the Saudi authorities and known as for the “puppetmasters” to be unmasked.
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