Turkish, Saudi investigators enter consul's residence in Istanbul as Khashoggi remains missing
Iran Press TV
Wed Oct 17, 2018 06:10PM
Saudi Arabia and Turkey have reportedly sent investigative teams to inspect the Saudi consul general's residence in the Turkish city of Istanbul, as the kingdom struggles to convince the world that it had nothing to do with the mysterious disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Over a dozen police officers and prosecutors, including forensic experts, entered the compound of Mohammed al-Otaibi on Wednesday, a day after he returned to Saudi Arabia.
Turkish and Saudi investigators are working together to find out what exactly happened to Khashoggi, who is believed to have been murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Ankara has criticized Riyadh's lack of enthusiasm to get to the bottom of the incident. It took Saudis two full weeks before allowing Turkish investigators into the consulate on Monday.
Turkey's National Intelligence Organization says it is in possession of secret audio recordings that incriminate Otaibi and other Saudi officials in the case.
Leaked details of the 11-minute recording published by Turkish media on Tuesday and Wednesday pointed to the gruesome "torture and murder" of Khashoggi inside the consulate. According to some reports, the journalist was slowly dismembered by an assassination squad as Saudi diplomats calmly listened to music.
Citing Turkish law enforcement sources, Al Jazeera, reported that Saudi intelligence elements had "verbally abused and used profanity to address Khashoggi, in addition to torturing him during the first four minutes after he entered the Saudi consulate."
Turkish officials have reportedly informed their American counterparts that they had audio and video recordings pointing to Khashoggi's death inside the consulate, according to The Washington Post, to which Kahshoggi was a contributor.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he had asked Turkish officials to hand in their evidence.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi mission to obtain the required paperwork for marrying his fiancée, who claims she waited outside the consulate for 11 hours but did not see him come out.
Saudi authorities, on the other hand, insist that Khashoggi left the building on the same day.
German FM, IMF chief cancel trips to Saudi Arabia
Khashoggi's suspected murder and Saudi Arabia's lackluster efforts to solve the case has negatively affected Riyadh's economic reform drive, chasing away investors and foreign officials alike.
On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass called off his scheduled visit to Riyadh and asked Saudi officials to "fully cooperate" in the investigation.
"Regarding my travel plans […] we were actually considering a visit as part of our dialogue with Saudi Arabia. Now we would wait and see," he told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), also announced that she would skip a high-profile Saudi economic event next week.
So far, major businesses such as Uber Technologies, Viacom, JP Morgan and Ford have boycotted the three-day event, dubbed "Davos in the Desert."
CNN, the Financial Times, The New York Times, CNBC, Bloomberg and other major media outlets have also pulled out.
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