Ever since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancé reported him missing after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkish officials have openly accused Riyadh of killing the Washignton Post columnist.
Today, one Turkish official has reiterated the fact that Khashoggi was killed but confirmed a more disturbing detail. The official said that Khashoggi’s body was cut into pieces to be transported out of the country after the heinous crime was carried out at the Saudi Consulate building.
The claim was made to CNN, after first being made to the New York Times earlier in the investigation into Khashoggi's fate. This statement comes after Turkish officials searched the Saudi consulate for nine hours on Monday night.
The Turkish officials were permitted to search the Saudi consulate after days of wrangling between the two sides over Khashoggi’s fate. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkish investigators were looking into "toxic" and "painted over material" as part of their inquiry. There have been reports that Saudi Arabia prevented Turkish officials from entering the building in order to finish eradicating any evidence linked to Khashoggi’s disappearance.
"My hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible, because the investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over," Erdogan told reporters.
The CNN also reported that their reporters saw a cleaning crew enter the main Saudi consulate building on Monday before Turkish officials, including a forensics team, were to arrive to begin their investigation.
Turkey has expanded the investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance to include the Saudi Consul General’s residence in Istanbul. The Saudi Consul General abruptly departed Turkey even as Turkish officials surrounded his residence in Istanbul and were working to gain entrance to the building. Turkey says that CCTV footage, which has served as a focal point in the Khashoggi investigation, showed vehicles moving from the Saudi consulate building to the nearby Consul General's residence on October 2.
Even as Turkey is focused on unearthing what exactly happened to Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, sources linked to Turkish authorities have put out that they have audio and visual evidence that showed Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate.
The evidence, which was described to the source by a Western intelligence agency, showed there had been an assault and a struggle inside the consulate. There is also reportedly evidence of the moment that Khashoggi was killed.