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Turkey accuses 15 Saudis of hiding and killing Khashoggi

Consulate officers arrive at the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia as the waiting continues after the disappearance of Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey on 9 October, 2018 [Onur Çoban/ Anadolu Agency]
Consulate officers arrive at the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia as the waiting continues after the disappearance of Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey on 9 October, 2018 [Onur Çoban/ Anadolu Agency]

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.

The team’s first finding was counting 26 cars in the Saudi consulate fleet, four of which are suspected of carrying out suspicious activities related to the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59.

He added that these cars came out of the consulate after an hour or more of the Saudi journalist’s entry to the building after 1pm.

The investigations found that the Saudi cars took a different route than they usually would, as shown by surveillance cameras. Two of these cars were highly suspicious – according to the special investigation team they disappeared from the surveillance cameras for hours and then went back to the consulate. Investigators believe that the disappearance of the two cars is important evidence in the case.

READ: US calls on Saudi to support ‘thorough investigation’ into Khashoggi’s case

Khashoggi disappeared when he was at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to obtain official papers.

According to security sources the preliminary estimations of the Turkish police suggest that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, that the killing was planned and the body of Khashoggi was taken out of the consulate.

International news agencies reported that Turkish officials, who asked not to be identified, stated last Saturday evening that the Saudi journalist was killed by a team that arrived to Istanbul for a definite purpose and left on the same day, while Turkish sources reported that those who entered the consulate during the presence of Khashoggi were from the Saudi Arabian security services.

Where is Jamal Khashoggi?... - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Where is Jamal Khashoggi?… – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

In response, an official source at the Saudi consulate denied that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and denounced what he described as “baseless accusations”.

The source stated that “a security delegation composed of Saudi investigators arrived on Saturday to Istanbul at the request of the Saudi side and the consent of the Turkish side to participate in the investigations of the disappearance of the Saudi citizen”.

#JamalKhashoggi

Pictures from the inside of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul published by Reuters showed numerous surveillance cameras in different areas and facilities of the consulate.

Pictures from outside the consulate showed surveillance cameras installed around the building, while the Saudi authorities have said the surveillance cameras installed at the consulate were capturing pictures without recording them.

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