Turkey checks CCTV for clues

Saudi writer’s route tracked up to em­bassy visit

Global Times - - Front Page -

Turk­ish in­ves­ti­ga­tors are ex­am­in­ing CCTV footage show­ing the mo­ment miss­ing Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi en­tered the king­dom’s con­sulate in Is­tan­bul and the move­ments of a team sus­pected of in­volve­ment in his dis­ap­pear­ance.

Khashoggi, a Wash­ing­ton Post con­trib­u­tor, van­ished on Oc­to­ber 2 af­ter en­ter­ing the con­sulate to ob­tain of­fi­cial doc­u­ments ahead of his mar­riage to his Turk­ish fi­ancee.

His fi­ancee, Hat­ice Cen­giz, made an ap­peal to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in an opin­ion piece for the Wash­ing­ton Post on Tues­day, call­ing on him to “help shed light on Ja­mal’s dis­ap­pear­ance.”

Govern­ment sources said at the week­end that po­lice be­lieved Khashoggi was killed by a team spe­cially sent to Is­tan­bul and thought to con­sist of 15 Saudis.

CCTV re­leased on Wed­nes­day by Turk­ish TV showed a man be­lieved to be Khashoggi en­ter the con­sulate as well as a ve­hi­cle of in­ter­est en­ter­ing and leav­ing the build­ing af­ter Khashoggi went in­side.

But Riyadh in­sisted the 59-year-old jour­nal­ist had left the build­ing and the mur­der claims were “base­less.”

Khashoggi, a for­mer Saudi govern­ment ad­viser, had been liv­ing in the United States since last year fear­ing ar­rest.

He has been crit­i­cal of some poli­cies of the Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man and Riyadh’s in­ter­ven­tion in the war in Ye­men.

Turk­ish po­lice were look­ing into two pri­vate air­craft that landed at Is­tan­bul’s Ataturk air­port on Oc­to­ber 2 at dif­fer­ent times car­ry­ing the in­di­vid­u­als of in­ter­est in the case.

A source told the Wash­ing­ton Post that US in­tel­li­gence “in­ter­cepted com­mu­ni­ca­tions of Saudi of­fi­cials dis­cussing a plan to cap­ture him.”

The same source said the Saudis hoped to “lure” Khashoggi to Saudi Ara­bia “and lay hands on him there.”

One of the first im­ages from the CCTV footage shared by 24 TV broad­caster showed Khashoggi en­ter the con­sulate at 1:14 pm (10:14 GMT).

Footage also showed some of the Saudis ar­riv­ing in Is­tan­bul af­ter the first plane landed be­fore 00:30 GMT on Oc­to­ber 2 and the men later check­ing into a ho­tel near the con­sulate. Ak­sam daily said some of the men went into the Saudi con­sulate be­fore Khashoggi.

Ac­cord­ing to the im­ages, a ve­hi­cle that went in­side the con­sulate was then driven to the con­sul-gen­eral’s res­i­dence nearby af­ter 12:00 GMT, two hours af­ter Khashoggi had en­tered the mis­sion.

Ak­sam news­pa­per’s ed­i­tor-inchief Murat Kelk­itli­oglu spec­u­lated on 24 TV that it was “al­most cer­tain” that Khashoggi had been taken in the ve­hi­cle.

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