Istanbul, October 12: In what is likely to generate more flak towards the Mohammed bin Salman regime, Turkish officials privy to the probe claim to have video evidence which "prove" that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate.
The officials, while speaking to the The Washington Post, said they have audio recordings, apart from the video evidence, to validate their claim. The identity of the investigators who made the claim was not released by the US-based newspaper. Saudi Arabia's Allies are Challenging it Over Journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Disappearance.
The Turkish government is yet to react to the report. The state-owned Andalu news agency, however, reiterated that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will "not bow down" to any form of international pressure.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has called the allegations of Khashoggi's murder or abduction as "baseless", claiming that the scribe left the consulate after procuring the necessary documents for his marriage. The claim contradicts the recordings of the CCTV footages, which spot the 59-year-old moving inside the consulate on October 2, but could not be seen leaving out.
Khashoggi's fiance, who was waiting outside the consulate for him, was the first to alert the authorities in Istanbul after he did not return for hours.
Khashoggi, who was once close to the Saudi Royal family, had distanced away from the totalitarian regime after the elevation of 33-year-old Mohammed bin Salman as the Crown Prince.
Under a self-imposed exile, Khashoggi had been living in the US for the past one year and contributing for the Washington Post. In his columns, he was highly critical of the Crown Prince, particularly his handling of the war in Yemen, arrest of women’s rights activists and the recent diplomatic spat with Canada.