Turkish media publish image of 'local collaborator' in Khashoggi killing

Turkish media publish image of 'local collaborator' in Khashoggi killing
The so-called 'local collaborator' allegedly helped the Saudi hit squad dispose of the body of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
3 min read
15 February, 2019
Khashoggi was dismembered after being killed on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Turkish media on Thursday published images of a so-called "local collaborator" who allegedly helped the Saudi hit squad dispose of the body of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, citing Istanbul police.

The dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor was dismembered after being killed on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but his remains have not yet been found.

CCTV images leaked previously showed a Saudi agent leaving the consulate after the murder wearing Khashoggi's clothes, who was identified as a "body double".

At one point, a hooded man was seen walking alongside him, who was identified in an Istanbul police report as a "local collaborator, the private NTV television reported.

After weeks of denial, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi had been killed after entering the consulate to obtain the paperwork necessary for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman called Hatice Cengiz.

Turkey says he was killed by a team of 15 Saudis who strangled him, and Ankara has repeatedly asked Riyadh to identify the local who allegedly helped them dispose of the body.

The police report also said that after the murder, the hit team ordered a large quantity of meat which was then delivered to the Saudi residence near the consulate where there was a large industrial oven.

Read also: Khashoggi's body may have been burned: Turkish police source

Several Turkish media outlets speculated whether the oven may have been used to dispose of the dismembered corpse.

"Was barbecuing meat... one of the previously made plans?" wondered the police report, which was published by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The murder sparked international outrage and hurt the kingdom's image. Riyadh arrested a number of senior Saudi officials allegedly involved in the murder.

During a press conference in Istanbul in early February, Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz said she hoped pressure from Congress would encourage Trump to take a tougher stance.

While Riyadh denies any involvement of MbS, the crown prince has been implicated in the murder by American senators based on the CIA's conclusions.

But the Trump administration has said there is no irrefutable evidence of the crown prince's involvement, and has stressed the importance of the strategic partnership between Washington and Riyadh.

Cengiz refused to comment on the accusations against the crown prince, saying only that she awaited the completion of Turkey's investigation. 

However she denounced the fact that Khashoggi's remains still had not been found.

Meanwhile, a New York Times report this week revealed that MbS said he would use "a bullet" on journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2017.

MbS is heard telling top aide Turki Aldakhil that Khashoggi should return to Saudi Arabia or be brought back forcefully. If these two scenarios did not occur, he would kill Khashoggi with "a bullet", according to American officials with direct knowledge of the intercepts. 

The conversation was intercepted by American intelligence agencies in their attempts to uncover who was behind Khashoggi's death. 

The National Security Agency (NSA) and other US spy agencies have been combing through bin Salman's voice and text communications, according to the report.

US officials made clear to the NYT that bin Salman most likely did not mean use "a bullet" literally. But the conversation he had with his aid does strongly indicate that the prince wanted Khashoggi dead.

In their conversation, bin Salman and Aldakhil expressed  their concern at Khashoggi's prominence and his criticism of the Saudi regime. Their conversation in September 2017 took place at the same time that Khashoggi began writing for The Washington Post. 

The NSA has been circulating reports about the crown prince's communications to spy agencies, the White House and close foreign allies, the NYT reported. Shortly after Khashoggi's death, the CIA concluded the hit was ordered by the Saudi prince.