Report: Saudi Journalist Khashoggi’s Remains Found
Khashoggi’s body was found in the garden of the Saudi consul general’s home, according to Sky News ■ CNN reports say investigators found two suitcases with Khashoggi’s personal belongings
The remains of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been found, Sky News reported on Tuesday, with one source saying remains were found in the garden of the Saudi consul general’s home.
Multiple sources suggested Khashoggi had been cut up and his face “disfigured,” Sky News reported.
Sources in the Istanbul Prosecutor’s office denied that Khashoggi’s remains were found at the consul general’s home, adding that a picture on social media purportedly showing the corpse is fake.
Erdogan speaks on Jamal Khashoggi death in parliament.
Crime scene investigators have found two suitcases which contained personal belongings of Khashoggi during a search of a Saudi consulate vehicle in Istanbul, broadcaster CNN Turk reported on Tuesday.
A Reuters witness said a Saudi team was accompanying the Turkish investigators as they carried out the search in a car park where the vehicle was found in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district on Monday.
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The report comes after remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who earlier Tuesday said that Khashoggi’s body hasn’t been found.
“As it is now clear, there was a murder — and it was clear from the beginning — then why was there a slurry of incoherent statements? And now there’s official acknowledgement there was a murder, where is the body? Why do we still not have the body?” Erdogan, speaking before parliament, asked.
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Erdogan described Khashoggi’s killing as “ferocious” and demanded that Saudi Arabia extradite those who killed him to stand trial in Turkey.
Intelligence sources told Reuters on Sunday that Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ran Khashoggi’s killing at the saudi consulate in Istanbul by giving orders over Skype.
According to one high-ranking Arab source with access to intelligence and links to members of Saudi Arabia’s royal court, Qahtani was beamed into a room of the Saudi consulate via Skype.
He began to hurl insults at Khashoggi over the phone. According to the Arab and Turkish sources, Khashoggi answered Qahtani’s insults with his own. But he was no match for the squad, which included top security and intelligence operatives, some with direct links to the royal court.
A Turkish intelligence source relayed that at one point Qahtani told his men to dispose of Khashoggi. “Bring me the head of the dog,” the Turkish intelligence source says Qahtani instructed.
Saudi King Salman received Khashoggi’s family members on Tuesday, with the crown prince in attendance, according to Saudi state media.
Erdogan also spoke with Khaashoggi’s family on the phone, sending his condolences.
Reports of the discovery of body parts of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are deeply disturbing, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said on Tuesday.
“I am aware of the reports, they are deeply disturbing … the location of Mr. Khashoggi’s body is just one of the questions we need answers to and as such we await the full results of the Turkish investigation,” he said.
A recent stream of leaks to national and international media has increased pressure on Saudi Arabia, which is hosting an investment conference this week that many dignitaries have decided to skip because of the scandal.
After initially denying any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, the kingdom gave a new story on Saturday, saying he died in a “fistfight.”
Saudi Arabia said 18 Saudis were arrested and that several top intelligence officials were fired over the killing, but critics alleged that the punishment was designed to absolve the crown prince, the kingdom’s heir-apparent, of any responsibility.
Turkey’s foreign minister, meanwhile, said his country would cooperate with international bodies if they were to launch an independent probe into the Khashoggi’s killing.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he’s not satisfied with the explanations he’s heard about the killing of Khashoggi and is awaiting reports from U.S. personnel returning from the region.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it. We have people over in Saudi Arabia now. We have top intelligence people in Turkey. They’re coming back either tonight or tomorrow,” Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a political rally in Texas.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the CIA is reviewing evidence regarding Khashoggi’s killing.
On Monday, leaked surveillance video showed a man strolling out of the diplomatic post hours after Khashoggi disappeared into the consulate, apparently wearing the columnist’s clothes as part of a macabre deception to sow confusion over his fate.
The new video broadcast by CNN, as well as a pro-government Turkish newspaper’s report that a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage made four calls to the royal’s office from the consulate around the same time, put more pressure on the kingdom. Turkish crime-scene investigators swarmed a garage Monday night in Istanbul where a Saudi consular vehicle had been parked.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, meanwhile, said Tuesday the investigation into the killing of Khashoggi would produce the truth about what happened and that his country was committed to ensuring “that the investigation is thorough and complete and that the truth is revealed and that those responsible will be held to account.”
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, in Indonesia, also pledged that mechanisms will be put in place so that “something like this can never happen again.”
Reuters contributed to this report