Hor­rific ‘record­ing of tor­ture’

Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY CHRIS HUGHES De­fence and Se­cu­rity Ed­i­tor­

A HOR­RIFIC record­ing proves miss­ing Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi was tor­tured, killed and chopped up in his coun­try’s Is­tan­bul con­sulate, it is claimed.

Turk­ish of­fi­cials say they have au­dio and video ev­i­dence that the Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist fell vic­tim to a hit squad af­ter vis­it­ing the mis­sion on Oc­to­ber 2 to pick up a doc­u­ment for his wed­ding.

One per­son with knowl­edge of the record­ing is quoted as say­ing: “You can hear his voice and the voices of men speak­ing Ara­bic.

“You can hear how he was in­ter­ro­gated, tor­tured and mur­dered.”

The Wash­ing­ton Post said the record­ing pro­vides “per­sua­sive and grue­some ev­i­dence” that a Saudi team sent to Is­tan­bul was re­spon­si­ble for its colum­nist’s death.

In­ter­na­tional pres­sure is mount­ing on Saudi Ara­bia to ex­plain what hap­pened to the for­mer royal in­sider who be­came a fierce critic of Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man’s regime.

For­eign Sec­re­tary Jeremy Hunt is said to be con­sid­er­ing tough ac­tion.

Ex-In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tary An­drew Mitchell said fail­ure to re­spond, fol­low­ing UK calls for in­ter­na­tional ac­tion over the Sal­is­bury chem­i­cal at­tacks, would be “hypocrisy of a very high or­der”.

He added: “I spoke to Jeremy Hunt on Wed­nes­day and know he is deeply con­cerned and mulling over what Bri­tain should do.

“No doubt he will speak out when more in­for­ma­tion is avail­able.”

Turkey be­lieves 15 Saudi men who ar­rived in Is­tan­bul on Oc­to­ber 2 were linked to the 57-year-old’s dis­ap­pear­ance. Saudi Ara­bia de­nies in­volve­ment and says he left the con­sulate later that af­ter­noon.

The jour­nal­ist’s fi­ancee, Hat­ice Cen­giz, who was wait­ing out­side, says she did not see him re-emerge

Turkey has called on Saudi of­fi­cials to pro­vide ev­i­dence he left as they claim and a Saudi del­e­ga­tion has ar­rived in Turkey as part of an probe into the dis­ap­pear­ance.

The re­pres­sive desert king­dom has called the al­le­ga­tion it ab­ducted or harmed Mr Khashoggi “base­less”.

But so far it has of­fered no ev­i­dence to sup­port its claim he left the con­sulate and van­ished.

Crown Prince Mo­hammed, 33, Saudi’s heir ap­par­ent, has in­tro­duced re­forms but shown lit­tle tol­er­ance for crit­i­cism. Mr Khashoggi, liv­ing in self-im­posed US ex­ile since last year, has been a prom­i­nent critic of the regime’s war in Ye­men.

SAUDI Ara­bia’s blood-soaked rulers were gravely mis­taken if they thought dis­si­dent Ja­mal Khashoggi could be mur­dered with­out se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions.

De­tails from Turkey about the jour­nal­ist’s ap­par­ent hideous death in­ten­sify pres­sure on those who be­lieved a critic could be killed – no ques­tions asked – be­cause the king­dom sells oil and is a ma­jor buyer of Western arms.

Saudi’s UK am­bas­sador must come up with an hon­est, au­thor­i­ta­tive ac­count fast or Theresa May will be un­able to with­stand calls to halt arms sales to this vi­o­lent clique.

It would be im­pos­si­ble for Bri­tain to main­tain close re­la­tions with a regime of sor­did tyrants who ex­port in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism and ex­e­cute op­po­nents.

Jour­nal­ist goes in to con­sulate MISS­INGMr Khashoggi crit­i­cised regime

RID­DLESaudi mis­sion

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