Middle East

Turkish TV broadcasts images of ‘Khashoggi body parts’ being moved

A Turkish television station has broadcast CCTV footage showing men carrying cases and bags which it says contained slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's body parts.

The images shown on A-Haber television late on Sunday feature three men carrying five suitcases and two large black bags into the home of the Saudi consul-general in Istanbul, a short distance from the Saudi consulate where Khashoggi was murdered in October.

Citing unnamed Turkish sources, A-Haber said Khashoggi's dismembered body was inside the cases and bags.

Khashoggi, a contributor to Middle East Eye and the Washington Post, was murdered by a team of Saudi hitmen on 2 October, shortly after entering the kingdom's consulate.

A-Haber said the bags and suitcases were put into a minibus which travelled the short distance from the consulate to a garage at the residence. The men are then seen taking them inside.

Riyadh has described the assassination as a "rogue operation", though the CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman almost certainly signed off on the mission. The 33-year-old heir to the Saudi throne has denied any knowledge of the murder or its botched cover-up.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported on Monday that, according to the writers of a new book about the murder, Turkish investigators believe the body was dumped inside a well in the garden of the Saudi residence.

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The consulate and the residence were searched by the Turkish authorities in October along with several other locations but Khashoggi's body has still not been found.

The murder's aftermath

In the murder's aftermath the Turkish authorities have drip-fed the media, including Middle East Eye, gruesome details of Khashoggi's death.

Much of Turkey's evidence has been gleaned from an audio recording from within the consulate.

Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had shared the audio with several countries, including the United States.

"The United States, Germany, France, Canada, we made them all listen … The man clearly says, 'I know how to cut,'" Erdogan said.

"This man is a soldier. These are all in the audio recordings," he added, without giving further details about the recording, or the identity of the man who uttered the phrase.

Erdogan's comments came a day after the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution to hold Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the murder.

Saudi Arabia has also repeatedly rejected Turkish demands to extradite suspects connected to the murder of the journalist, a critic of the crown prince.

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Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy, the kingdom's top forensic pathologist, was a member of the Saudi squad sent to Istanbul from Riyadh to intercept Khashoggi.

Tubaigy began to cut Khashoggis body up on a table in the study while he was still alive, a Turkish source told MEE in mid-October. As he started to dismember the body, Tubaigy put on earphones and listened to music.

“When I do this job, I listen to music. You should do [that] too,” Tubaigy was recorded as saying, the source told MEE.

Turkish officials said last week that the Istanbul prosecutor's office had concluded there was "strong suspicion" that Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Mohammed bin Salman, and Major General Ahmed al-Assiri, who served as deputy head of Saudi foreign intelligence, were among the planners of Khashoggi's killing.

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