Jamal Khashoggi was apparently murdered after he went into Saudi Arabia‘s consulate in Istanbul. As Middle East Eye reported today, Khashoggi entered the building on Tuesday, and by Saturday, the grim theory of how he met his end became known.
A “senior Turkish police” source has said that the writer was a powerful and frequent critic of the often brutal Saudi government and was “brutally tortured, killed and cut into pieces” while inside the building on October 2, 2018.
“Everything was videotaped to prove the mission had been accomplished and the tape was taken out of the country,” the same source stated. This person thinks that Khashoggi was murdered and then removed from the premises.
“The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr. Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate,” the official admitted.
Furthermore, Yasin Aktay, “a former MP for Turkey’s ruling AK (Justice and Development) party” is also the person who the journalist had instructed his fiancee to contact in the event that he did not re-emerge from the consulate. Clearly, the man had concerns before entering and some pundits have wondered why he went alone.
Regardless, as Renaca has written in reference to consulates, “First of all it is responsible for its own fellow- citizens, living or travelling in the host country.” Since this did not happen, it sets the stage for a huge conflict between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
It was also established that authorities in Turkey possess “concrete information” about how Khashoggi met his horrific end.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on CNN Turk, “Khashoggi discussed to go there or not with his fiancee beforehand. Our security officials are investigating the issue in every detail. We have some concrete information, it won’t be an unresolved crime.”
The Islamic leader added, “We could determine his entrance but not any exit. That’s confirmed. We asked them [the Saudis], they say ‘he left,’ but there is no such thing on the camera footage. That’s underestimating Turkey. They are wrong if they think Turkey is as it was in the 90s. The consulate should make a clear statement.”
Not only does Erdogan feel that the slaying took place in the consulate, but he also has said that a suspected group of 15 Saudi nationals were “most certainly involved.” If he is correct, modern forensics will easily prove what may not be seen with the naked eye.
Already, Police have confirmed that “about 15 Saudis, including officials, came to Istanbul on two private flights on Tuesday.” These individuals were present at the consulate on the day that the writer is thought to have lost his life. They left on the same day, another fact which has caused more than a few murmurings among investigators.
A source in the security sector said “Their diplomatic bags could not be opened,” but it is thought that the remains of Kashoggi were inside.
An official from Saudi Arabia who chose to remain nameless said that the accusations are absolutely “baseless.” Also, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman informed Bloomberg on Friday that investigators from Turkey are more than welcome to look at the consulate and that the Saudi’s have “nothing to hide.” So far, only Reuters journalists have shown up to look, however.
Still, a source close to the matter has said that “The consulate is surrounded by cameras, no evidence of Khashoggi leaving was recorded on them.”
“If the reports of Jamal’s murder are true, it is a monstrous and unfathomable act,” stated Fred Hiatt, director of the Post’s editorial page. “Jamal was – or, as we hope, is – a committed, courageous journalist. He writes out of a sense of love for his country and deep faith in human dignity and freedom. He is respected in his country, in the Middle, East and throughout the world. We have been enormously proud to publish his writings.”
Basheer Nafi, a Palestinian “thinker” who knew the engaged journalist said, “I’ve seen hundreds and thousands of Saudis in my life. I’ve never seen a man more gentle and more decent than him. He doesn’t deserve to be treated like this at all.”
The chances of a positive outcome for Kashoggi and those who loved him got even slimmer when it was reported that the U.S. government does not know where the writer is, either.
All that is known is that Kashoggi went to the consulate in order to verify his divorce, as demanded by the government, so that he could marry his girlfriend. Now the man who was the “former editor-in-chief of Saudi newspapers al-Arab and Watan” and who “served as the media adviser to Prince Turki al-Faisal during his tenure as ambassador in London and Washington” is thought to be dead.
It is highly suspicious, may investigators say, that he was called back to the consulate after having been there already once before, to finish paperwork. Kashoggi has stated he was “rightfully nervous about a Trump presidency,” perhaps distrusting the Saudi government and worrying that the White House was getting duped by them.