Turks cite video and audio evidence to bolster claim of Khashoggi murder


The Turkish government says it has audio and video recordings proving that dissident journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was slain inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul this month, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The recordings purportedly show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in on 2 October to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding, then killed him and dismembered his body, the newspaper said, citing U.S. and Turkish officials.

"The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered," a person with knowledge of the recording told the newspaper. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence.

"You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic," the person said. "You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered."

A second person briefed on the recording said men could be heard beating Khashoggi, according to the report.

Whether U.S. officials have seen the footage or listened to the audio remains unclear. According to the report Turkish officials have described their contents to their American counterparts.

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old Saudi national, has not been heard from since he entered the Istanbul consulate building on 2 October for some paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancee. Saudi Arabia said Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after going in and has denied an allegation by some Turkish authorities that the journalist was killed inside.

Intelligence officials and experts have speculated in recent days that the 15-man Saudi security team that Turkish officials say was sent to Istanbul may have intended to capture Khashoggi and bring him back to Saudi Arabia and not to kill him.

The person who was briefed on the audio recording said it shows that after killing Khashoggi, the security team went to the home of the Saudi consul general, where staff were told to go home early.    (dpa)

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