Turkey has second audio recording on Khashoggi killing: Columnist
Hürriyet columnist Abdulkadir Selvi reported on Nov. 16 that Turkey has more evidence, including a second, longer audio recording that contradicts with key findings of the Saudi public prosecutor’s indictment against the suspected murderers of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor had requested on Nov. 15 the death penalty for five Saudi officials, while charging a total of 11 suspects, whom he accused of killing Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2.
While indicting the suspects, the prosecutor also claimed that they killed the journalist after a botched attempt aiming either to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia or do it by force after drugging and kidnapping him.
According to the Turkish columnist, a set of findings and evidence in Turkey’s own probe disprove some of the Saudi prosecutor’s claims over the killing.
“Khashoggi’s desperate attempts to survive could be heard in a seven minute audio recording. There is no hint of anyone trying to persuade him,” Selvi wrote Nov. 16.
“Turkish officials also did not confirm [Saudi prosecutor’s claim] that Khashoggi was killed after they gave him a fatal dose of drug. They say that he was strangulated with a rope or something like a plastic bag,” the columnist added.
Second tape, international phone calls
Moreover, there are other hints suggesting that the murder was planned, including the fact that a forensics official whose expertise is dismembering bodies quickly was in the Saudi “hit squad,” as well as a Khashoggi lookalike who walked around security cameras in Istanbul after the murder to mislead Turkish police.
Selvi added that the strongest evidence about the premeditated nature of the killing could be seen in another audio recording.
The Turkish columnist had reported on Oct. 22 the existence of the first audio tape, which “proved that Khashoggi was strangulated in 7-8 minutes.”
Another tape, Selvi wrote Nov. 16, was recorded 15 minutes before Khashoggi arrived the consulate.
In this 15-minute recording, “the Saudi team discusses how to execute Khashoggi. They are reviewing their plan, which was previously prepared, and reminding themselves the duties of each member,” according to the columnist.
“There is also evidence from the period after the killing. Turkey has the international phone calls made by the 15-member Saudi hit squad,” he noted.