Saudi ‘courier’ in Khashoggi murder identified by Turkey: Columnist
Muzaini returned from Riyadh to Istanbul on Oct. 1, a day before the 15-member hit squad would arrive. He left Turkey at 9:35 p.m. on Oct. 2, only a few hours after the killing of Khashoggi.
Turkish officials have identified another key figure in the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who operated as a “courier” between Istanbul and Riyadh in the planning stage of the brutal killing, Hürriyet columnist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote on Dec. 6.
Ahmed Abdullah al-Muzaini worked as Saudi Arabia’s “intelligence station chief” at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul where Khashoggi was killed on Oct. 2, according to Selvi, who described the man as “a figure at the center of the whole traffic related to the Khashoggi murder.”
Khashoggi had initially gone to the consulate on Sept. 28 to receive official documents for his planned marriage. He was hosted by the consulate employees well but was told to come back to get the documents on Oct. 2.
“From the moment Khashoggi entered the consulate for the first time, the process was managed by Muzaini. He flew to Riyadh on Sept. 29 and met Saudi intelligence deputy chief Ahmed al-Asiri, who formed the team that would kill Khashoggi,” Selvi wrote.
The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office filed an application Dec. 5 to obtain arrest warrants for Assiri, as well as Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
After weeks-long denial of the murder and under international pressure, Saudi Arabia had finally detained 21 people, seeking the death penalty for five. Assiri and Qahtani were reportedly suspended from their duties but they do not face criminal charges.
“After completing the planning of the Khashoggi murder with Assiri, Muzaini returned to Istanbul on Oct. 1, a day before the 15-member hit squad would arrive. Muzaini left Turkey at 9:35 p.m. on Oct. 2, only a few hours after the murder,” Selvi added, describing the Saudi official as “the courier.”
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Dec. 5 that an international investigation was needed to determine who was responsible for the murder as the questions about the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body also remains unanswered.
“All arrows are pointing to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Selvi wrote.