Khashoggi’s body was ‘dis­solved’ af­ter mur­der

Viet Nam News - - WORLD -

ANKARA — The body of jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi was “dis­solved” af­ter he was mur­dered and dis­mem­bered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a month ago, an ad­vi­sor to Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan said yes­ter­day.

The claim echoed what a Turk­ish of­fi­cial had told the Wash­ing­ton Post — for which Khashoggi was a con­trib­u­tor — that au­thor­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a the­ory the body was de­stroyed in acid.

“We now see that it wasn’t just cut up, they got rid of the body by dis­solv­ing it,” Yasin Ak­tay, an ad­vi­sor to Er­do­gan and of­fi­cial in Turkey’s rul­ing party, told the Hur­riyet news­pa­per yes­ter­day.

“Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est in­for­ma­tion we have, the rea­son they cut up the body is it was eas­ier to dis­solve it,” Ak­tay said.

Saudi Ara­bia has faced a tor­rent of in­ter­na­tional con­dem­na­tion over the killing of the royal in­sider-turned-critic.

Turkey’s chief prose­cu­tor on Wed­nes­day con­firmed for the first time that Khashoggi was stran­gled as soon as he entered the consulate on Oc­to­ber 2 as part of a planned hit, and his body was then dis­mem­bered and de­stroyed.

“They aimed to en­sure no sign of the body was left. This is what is un­der­stood from the prose­cu­tor’s state­ment, said Ak­tay, who was close to the jour­nal­ist.

“Killing an in­no­cent per­son is one crime, the treat­ment and ex­tent of what was done to the body is an­other crime and dis­hon­our.”

The Turk­ish of­fi­cial quoted by the Wash­ing­ton Post said that “bi­o­log­i­cal ev­i­dence” found in the consulate’s gar­den in­di­cated the body was likely dis­posed of near where Khashoggi was killed.

“Khashoggi’s body was not in need of bury­ing,” the of­fi­cial told the US news­pa­per on the con­di­tion of anonymity.

Saudi au­thor­i­ties have denied Turk­ish po­lice per­mis­sion to search a well in the consulate’s gar­den, but did al­low them to take wa­ter sam­ples for anal­y­sis, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia reports.

The mur­der has placed strain on the decades-old al­liance be­tween the United States and Saudi Ara­bia and tar­nished the im­age of Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, the king­dom’s de facto ruler.

US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said on Thurs­day it may take “a hand­ful more weeks” be­fore Wash­ing­ton has enough ev­i­dence to im­pose sanc­tions on the in­di­vid­u­als re­spon­si­ble. — AFP

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