Erdogan Confirms Audio Evidence of Khashoggi’s Murder
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On October 2, a Saudi hit squad was dispatched to Istanbul by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) – ordered to murder Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate and dispose of his remains.
On Saturday, Turkish President Erdogan said he shared recorded audio evidence of Khashoggi’s murder with US, German, British, French and Saudi officials.
Earlier, regime sources said Ankara had audio recordings of the incident, occurring inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate – short of officially confirming they exist.
“We gave the tapes,” said Erdogan, likely meaning copies of the recordings, adding:
“We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them. They know.”
Audio and whatever other evidence Turkey has continues to be revealed incrementally. Recordings were likely from bugging the Saudi consulate, contravening the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The US, its key NATO partners and Israel do it repeatedly. Illegal closure of Russian diplomatic properties in America by the Obama and Trump regimes is one of many examples.
Sergey Lavrov called the closures and seizures “daytime robbery,” rejecting unacceptable conditions for their return, adding US actions indicate it’s unlikely “that we would be able to establish normal cooperation in international relations” with Washington.
On Saturday, the Turkish language Daily Sabah broadsheet said the Saudis poured Khashoggi’s remains down a drain – after dissolving his body in hydrofluoric acid, traces found by Turkish forensic analysis.
Two key MBS aides were accused by Ankara of involvement in Khashoggi’s murder – media advisor Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Mohammed al-Assir.
Both were reportedly sacked along with three other high-level Saudi officials, perhaps temporarily before reinstating them in key positions once the international furor over Khashoggi’s murder abates.
On Saturday, Turkish police ended the search for his body. The criminal investigation continues. So does the Saudi coverup, wanting MBS shielded from accountability, shifting blame to others, refusing to cooperate with Turkey.
According to Al Jazeera, kingdom “chemical experts” were sent to Istanbul to eliminate Khashoggi and “destroy evidence” of the crime, adding:
“They also denied Turkish requests to once again search the consul-general’s home, after Turks found samples of chemicals in the garden of the residence.”
The Daily Sabah reported that Khashoggi’s last words were “I’m suffocating…Take this (plastic) bag off my head. I’m claustrophobic,” according to audio recording evidence.
The broadsheet said the murder took about seven minutes, dismembering his body around another 15 minutes, the process led by Salah al-Tubaigy, head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics.
The Daily Sabah will publish images of tools used to dismember Khashoggi’s body, as well as audio recordings of the killing, it said.
Istanbul’s chief prosector earlier said he was strangled to death straightaway after entering the Saudi consulate.
His brutal murder did nothing to change kingdom relations with Washington, the West, and most other countries – nor Saudi high crimes internally and cross-border.
They continue unabated in Yemen, along with support given ISIS and other regional terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya – likely in all countries where the Pentagon and CIA deploy them for use as imperial proxies.
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