Saudi government planned Jamal Khashoggi hit: NY Times


Erdogan has not accused Saudi Arabia of being responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance but has said that if the Saudis have footage of him leaving the consulate they should release it. Saudi Arabia is a major investor in Turkey, despite Ankara's support for the Gulf nation of Qatar, which is under a blockade led by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations.

The planes belonged to a company based in Saudi Arabia that has links to the state.

Turkish media on Wednesday published images of a 15-member "assassination squad" allegedly sent to kill dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi arriving in Istanbul and of a black van traveling from the Saudi Consulate to the consul's home.

But Top Turkish security officials told the New York Times that the team of Saudi agents dismembered Khashoggi's body with a bone saw and then flew out of the country. However, many officials who provided information earlier in the inquiry, were on Tuesday refusing to speak, citing political sensitivities.

Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

A former Saudi government advisor, Khashoggi has been openly critical of Prince Mohammed, accusing him of introducing a new era of "fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming".

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage.

Turkish media outlets have published CCTV footage which they say shows evidence of a plot linked to missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to the images, a vehicle that went inside the consulate then went to the consul-general's residence nearby after 1200 GMT, two hours after Khashoggi had entered the mission. They checked into two hotels in Istanbul, the paper said. The other to Cairo, also finally to the Saudi capital.

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"He did not mind walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul because he did not believe that something bad could happen on Turkish soil".

Jamal Khashoggi was once considered an insider to the Saudi establishment with links to the security and intelligence apparatus.

A critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Mr Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. and writing opinion pieces for the Washington Post before his disappearance.

Even in exile he refused to outright condemn the Saudi regime, especially on alleged war crimes in Yemen and the crackdown on dissent back in Saudi Arabia.

David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression, said the disappearance of Saudi government critic Jamal Khashoggi "puts basically the Turks in the position of having both to maintain a diplomatic relationship and to deal with a real important, high-profile investigation".

On Wednesday, the Post published a column by Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. The two soon agreed to marry, but in order to do so he needed to finalise his divorce with his first wife in Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom has dismissed the allegation as "baseless", but has released no evidence supporting its version of events which is that Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed shortly after entering.

The UK's foreign secretary told Saudi Arabia that Britain expects urgent answers over the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi, it emerged on Tuesday.

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi casts another shadow over the already strained ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.