Saudis sent ‘cleaners’ to Istanbul 9 days after Khashoggi murder

Hugh Fox
November 7, 2018

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaking to reporters in Japan said that a 15-man team could not have come to Turkey to kill a Saudi citizen without orders and urged Saudi Arabia to find out what happened to Jamal Khashoggi's body.

The Saudi officials tried to rip out a camera inside the Istanbul consulate on October 2, the day Khashoggi disappeared, and days later tampered with cameras at a police security booth in the building, Al-Jazeera reported, citing Turkish media.

The newspaper alleges the team visited the building every day from 12 October until the 17 October, before leaving the country three days later.

"We believe that the two individuals came to Turkey for the sole goal of covering up evidence of Jamal Khashoggi's murder before the Turkish police were allowed to search the premises", the Turkish official said.

Analysts say Saudi authorities appear to be trying to defuse the crisis by shoring up support from within the royal family.

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However, as diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on Riyadh to give an account on the mysterious fate of its national, in an unexpected statement last month, Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in a "premeditated" attack in the consulate.

The suitcases were then reportedly taken to the Saudi consul's residence near the consular premises. Sabah published photographs of the two men emerging from the entrance of the consulate and also published photographs that the newspaper's investigative editor, Abdurrahman Simsek, said were head shots from cameras at airport passport control.

The son, Salah Khashoggi, 35, said in an interview with CNN on Sunday that the Saudi ruler, King Salman, "has stressed that everybody involved will be brought to justice" for the murder.

Forty member states reiterated their request for an investigation, as well as reform of Saudi Arabia's laws regarding freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, two of Khashoggi's sons appealed for his remains to be returned so that he may be buried in Saudi Arabia. "He died", Abdullah said.

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The campaign came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out in his op-ed in the Washington Post last Friday that Saudi Arabia has yet to answer a whole array of questions pertaining to Khashoggi's killing.

Istanbul's chief prosecutor, who is leading the investigation, announced last week that Mr Khashoggi, who lived in exile in the U.S., was strangled immediately after he entered the consulate.

"I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon".

"A thorough, conclusive and transparent investigation carried out in accordance with due process with results made public is essential", he insisted.

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