‘Mur­der’ proof in a watch?

MISS­ING JOUR­NAL­IST A re­port says Turk­ish of­fi­cials have a record­ing of the ‘killing’ from Khashoggi’s Ap­ple watch

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - CORPORATE BUZZ - As­so­ci­ated Press let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

IS­TAN­BUL: Turk­ish of­fi­cials have an au­dio record­ing of the al­leged killing of jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi from the Ap­ple Watch he wore when he walked into the Saudi Con­sulate in Is­tan­bul over a week ago, a pro-govern­ment Turk­ish news­pa­per re­ported Satur­day.

The new claim pub­lished by the Sabah news­pa­per, through which Turk­ish se­cu­rity of­fi­cials have leaked much in­for­ma­tion about the case, puts more pres­sure on Saudi Ara­bia to ex­plain what hap­pened to Khashoggi.

Also Satur­day, Turkey’s top diplo­mat re­it­er­ated a call to Saudi Ara­bia to open up its con­sulate, from where Khashoggi dis­ap­peared, for Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties to search.

The writer, who has writ­ten crit­i­cally about Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, dis­ap­peared af­ter he walked into the con­sulate Oc­to­ber 2. The king­dom has main­tained the al­le­ga­tions against it are “base­less,” though an of­fi­cial early Satur­day on Khashoggi’s 60th birth­day ac­knowl­edged for the first time some be­lieve the writer was killed by the king­dom.

Au­thor­i­ties re­cov­ered the au­dio from Khashoggi’s iphone and his icloud ac­count, the news­pa­per said. The jour­nal­ist had given his phones to his fi­ancée be­fore en­ter­ing the con­sulate. The news­pa­per also al­leged Saudi of­fi­cials tried to delete the record­ings first by in­cor­rectly guess­ing Khashoggi’s PIN on the watch, then later us­ing the jour­nal­ist’s finger. How­ever, Ap­ple Watches do not have a finger­print ID un­lock func­tion like iphones. The news­pa­per did not ad­dress that in its re­port.

An Ap­ple Watch can record au­dio and can sync that later with an iphone over a Blue­tooth con­nec­tion if it is close by. The news­pa­per’s ac­count did not elab­o­rate on how the Ap­ple Watch synced that in­for­ma­tion to both the phone and Khashoggi’s icloud ac­count. Turk­ish of­fi­cials have not an­swered queries from The AP about Khashoggi’s Ap­ple Watch.

Turk­ish of­fi­cials say they be­lieve a 15-mem­ber “as­sas­si­na­tion squad” killed Khashoggi. They’ve also al­leged that they have video of the slay­ing, but not ex­plained how they have it.

Turkey may be try­ing to pro­tect its in­tel­li­gence sources through leak­ing this way, an­a­lysts say. “Un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, in­tel­li­gence ser­vices would want to pro­tect their sources, whether hu­man or tech­ni­cal,” Car­rie Cordero, a se­nior fel­low at the Wash­ing­ton-based Cen­ter for a New Amer­i­can Se­cu­rity, wrote re­cently.

REUTERS

Hu­man rights ac­tivists and friends of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi hold his pic­tures dur­ing a protest out­side the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, Turkey, ear­lier this week.

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