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Turkey 'has recording proving Saudi murder'

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Istanbul | Friday, Oct 12 2018 IST
Turkish officials have obtained audio and video evidence that shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, US media report.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, has not been seen since he entered the building on 2 October, a BBC News report said.

Turkey has reportedly told US officials that an audio recording gives some of the clearest proof that a Saudi security team was behind his murder.

Saudi Arabia denies the allegations.

Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and reported death have prompted international outrage and dented business confidence in Saudi Arabia.

Tycoon Sir Richard Branson has halted talks over $1bn Saudi investment in Virgin space firms and several top business leaders have pulled out of a Saudi investment conference later this month.

The latest reports suggest an assault and a struggle took place in the consulate. What is not clear is if anyone other than Turkish officials has seen or heard the recordings.

A source is cited by the Washington Post saying men can be heard beating Mr Khashoggi; it adds that the recordings show he was killed and dismembered.

"You can hear his voice and the voices of the men speaking Arabic," a separate source told the Post. "You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered". Mr Khashoggi is a contributing columnist for the newspaper.

Earlier this week leading columnist Kemal Ozturk, considered close to the Turkish government, alleged there was a video of the moment Jamal Khashoggi was killed.

Turkish TV has already broadcast CCTV footage of the moment Mr Khashoggi walked into the consulate for an appointment at which he was due to receive papers for his forthcoming marriage to Turkish fiance Hatice Cengiz.

Separately, a video has emerged of men described as Saudi intelligence officers entering and leaving Turkey.

A 15-strong team has been identified by Turkish media who are described as involved in Mr Khashoggi's disappearance. The BBC has been told that one was Maher Mutreb, an intelligence colonel based in London, and another was thought to be a forensics specialist.

A Saudi delegation arrived in Ankara on Friday to take part in a joint investigation with Turkish authorities with talks expected to take place over the weekend.

Their arrival came a day after a senior Saudi royal figure, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, was said to have briefly visited Turkey amid signs that the Saudi monarchy was seeking an urgent solution to the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Mr Khashoggi's disappearance threatens the reputation of the new Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman, and his country's relationships across the world, the BBC's Turkey correspondent Mark Lowen reports.

UNi XC-SNU 1838

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0442-1549341.Xml

 
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