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Datum objave: 17.10.2018

Jamal Khashoggi's killing took seven minutes, Turkish source tells

Middle East Eye publishes first details of audio tape acquired by Turkish investigators probing what happened to Saudi journalist

Jamal Khashoggi's killing took seven minutes, Turkish source tells MEE

Middle East Eye publishes first details of audio tape acquired by Turkish investigators probing what happened to Saudi journalist

Turkish source tells MEE that journalist was killed and dismembered in a study room at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul (Reuters/File photo)

It took seven minutes for Jamal Khashoggi to die, a Turkish source who has listened in full to an audio recording of the Saudi journalist's last moments told Middle East Eye.

Khashoggi was dragged from the Consul General’s office at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and onto the table of his study next door, the Turkish source said.

Horrendous screams were then heard by a witness downstairs, the source said.

"The consul himself was taken out of the room. There was no attempt to interrogate him. They had come to kill him,” the source told MEE.

The screaming stopped when Khashoggi - who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on 2 October - was injected with an as yet unknown substance.

Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy, who has been identified as the head of forensic evidence in the Saudi general security department, was one of the 15-member squad who arrived in Ankara earlier that day on a private jet.

Tubaigy began to cut Khashoggi’s body up on a table in the study while he was still alive, the Turkish source said.

The killing took seven minutes, the source said.

As he started to dismember the body, Tubaigy put on earphones and listened to music. He advised other members of the squad to do the same.

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

A three-minute version of the audio tape has been given to Turkish newspaper Sabah, but they have yet to release it.

A Turkish source told the New York Times that Tubaigy was equipped with a bone saw. He is listed as the president of the Saudi Fellowship of Forensic Pathology and a member of the Saudi Association for Forensic Pathology.

In 2014, London-based Saudi newspaper Asharaq al-Awsat interviewed Tubaigy about a mobile clinic that allows coroners to perform autopsies in seven minutes to determine the cause of death of Hajj pilgrims.

The newspaper reported that the mobile clinic was partly designed by Tubaigy and could be used in "security cases that requires pathologist intervention to perform an autopsy or examine a body at the place of a crime”.

These are the first details to emerge of the Saudi journalist’s killing. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to retrieve paperwork.

To date, Saudi officials have strongly denied any involvement in his disappearance and say that he left the consulate soon after arriving. However, they have not presented any evidence to corroborate their claim and say that video cameras at the consulate were not recording at the time.

Calls for credible investigation grow louder

On Tuesday, both Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, came out in support of Saudi officials' denials they know anything about what happened to Khashoggi.

Trump tweeted that he spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who "totally denied any knowledge of what took place" in Istanbul. Trump said MBS told him "that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter".

On Monday, CNN reported that Saudi Arabia was preparing to release a report that would blame Khashoggi's death on a botched interrogation.

That would be a sharp reversal of earlier statements in which Saudi officials said they had nothing to do with the journalist's disappearance and said he left the Saudi consulate minutes after he first arrived on 2 October.

Khashoggi, a prominent journalist and columnist for the Washington Post, had been living in self-imposed exile in Washington, DC, when he disappeared.

On Tuesday, Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan called for a "full and honest explanation" of Khashoggi's disappearance.

"The Saudi government can no longer remain silent, and it is essential that our own government and others push harder for the truth," Ryan said in a statement. "Until we have a full account and full accountability, it cannot be business as usual with the Saudi government."

The United Nations human rights chief also called for immunity to be lifted for officials who might be involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Due to the seriousness of the case, the immunity generally accorded to diplomats "should be waived immediately", Michelle Bachelet said.

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Do I believe MBS believes that he has a greater range of action because of his relationship with Donald Trump? Absolutely. There's no question about it. What you cannot prove, and what I don't know, is whether or not there is direct causality

-Aaron David Miller, Middle East program director at the Wilson Center

Jamal Khashoggi

amal Ahmad Khashoggi (Arabic: جمال خاشقجي‎ Jamāl Khāshuqjī, Hejazi: [ʒaˈmaːl χaːˈʃoɡʒi], born 1958 – disappeared 2 October 2018) is a Saudi Arabian journalist, author, and the former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel. He also served as editor for the Saudi Arabian newspaper Al Watan, turning it into a platform for Saudi Arabian progressives.

Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in September 2017. He said that the Saudi Arabian government had banned him from Twitter and later wrote newspaper articles critical of the government. Khashoggi has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, and the country's king, Salman of Saudi Arabia. He also opposed the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.

Khashoggi disappeared on 2 October 2018 and was last seen entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, by its main entrance. Anonymous Turkish police sources have alleged that he was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate.The Saudi Arabian government claims that Khashoggi left the consulate alive through a rear entrance, but Turkish police say that no CCTV recorded him exiting the consulate. On 15 October, an inspection of the consulate, by both Saudi Arabian followed by Turkish officials took place. Turkish officials found evidence of "tampering" during the inspection, and evidence that supported the belief Khashoggi was killed.

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Dr. Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, the head of the Forensic Evidence at the Saudi General Security Department



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The Jamal Khashoggi Case: Suspects Had Ties to Saudi Crown Prince

ISTANBUL — One of the suspects identified by Turkey in the disappearance of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was a frequent companion of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — seen disembarking from airplanes with him in Paris and Madrid and photographed standing guard during his visits this year to Houston, Boston and the United Nations.

Three others are linked by witnesses and other records to the Saudi crown prince’s security detail.

A fifth is a forensic doctor who holds senior positions in the Saudi Interior Ministry and medical establishment, a figure of such stature that he could be directed only by a high-ranking Saudi authority.

If, as the Turkish authorities say, these men were present at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul where Mr. Khashoggi disappeared on Oct. 2, they might provide a direct link between what happened and Prince Mohammed. That would undercut any suggestion that Mr. Khashoggi died in a rogue operation unsanctioned by the crown prince. Their connection to him could also make it more difficult for the White House and Congress to accept such an explanation.

The New York Times has confirmed independently that at least nine of 15 suspects identified by Turkish authorities worked for the Saudi security services, military or other government ministries. One of them, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, was a diplomat assigned to the Saudi Embassy in London in 2007, according to a British diplomatic roster. He traveled extensively with the crown prince, perhaps as a bodyguard.

How much blame for Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance or death settles on the 33-year-old crown prince has become a decisive factor in his standing in the eyes of the West and within the royal family. The prince has presented himself as a reformer intent on opening up the kingdom’s economy and culture, and has   used that image to try to influence White House policy in the region and to woo Western investors to help diversify the Saudi economy.

But the international revulsion at the reported assassination and mutilation of a single newspaper columnist — Mr. Khashoggi, who wrote for The Washington Post — has already sullied that image far more than previous missteps by the crown prince, from miring his country in a catastrophic war in Yemen to kidnapping the prime minister of Lebanon.

Traveling with the Crown Prince

Turkish officials released a photo of Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, left, at the Istanbul airport, naming him as part of a team of Saudi agents who assassinated Jamal Khashoggi. Mr. Mutreb stood guard next to the Saudi crown prince during visits this year to Spain, France and the United States.

The crown prince and his father, King Salman, have denied any knowledge of Mr. Khashoggi’s whereabouts, repeatedly asserting that he left the consulate freely. Saudi officials did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

But in the last few days, as major American businesses have withdrawn from a marquee investment conference in Riyadh and members of Congress have stepped up calls for sanctions, the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia appear to have been searching for a face-saving way out.

The royal court was expected to acknowledge that Mr. Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, and to blame an intelligence agent for botching an operation to interrogate Mr. Khashoggi that ended up killing him.

President Trump floated the possibility on Monday that Mr. Khashoggi was the victim of “rogue killers.”

But such explanations would run up against a host of hard-to-explain obstacles.

The suspects’ positions in the Saudi government and their links to the crown prince could make it more difficult to absolve him of responsibility.

The presence of a forensic doctor who specializes in autopsies suggests the operation may have had a lethal intent from the start. Turkish officials have said they possess evidence that the 15 Saudi agents flew into Istanbul on Oct. 2, assassinated Mr. Khashoggi, dismembered his body with a bone saw they had brought for the purpose, and flew out the same day. Records show that two private jets chartered by a Saudi company with close ties to the Saudi crown prince and Interior Ministry arrived and left Istanbul on the day of Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Turkish officials said Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate. That timeline would not have allowed much time for an interrogation to go awry.

The Times gathered more information about the suspects using facial recognition, publicly available records, social media profiles, a database of Saudi cellphone numbers, Saudi news reports, leaked Saudi government documents and in some cases the accounts of witnesses in Saudi Arabia and countries the crown prince has visited.

Mr. Mutreb, the former diplomat in London, was photographed emerging from airplanes with Prince Mohammed on recent trips to Madrid and Paris. He was also photographed in Houston, Boston and the United Nations during the crown prince’s visits there, often glowering as he surveyed a crowd.

A French professional who has worked with the Saudi royal family identified a second suspect, Abdulaziz Mohammed al-Hawsawi, as a member of the security team that travels with the crown prince.

A Saudi news outlet reported that someone with the same name as a third suspect, Thaar Ghaleb al-Harbi, was promoted last year to the rank of lieutenant in the Saudi royal guard for bravery in the defense of Prince Mohammed’s palace in Jeddah.

A fourth suspect traveled with a passport bearing the name of another member of the royal guard, Muhammed Saad Alzahrani. A search of the name in Menom3ay, an app popular in Saudi Arabia that allows users to see the names other users have associated with certain phone numbers, identified him as a member of the royal guard. A guard wearing a name tag with that name appears in a video from 2017 standing next to Prince Mohammed.

Members of the royal guard or aides who traveled with the crown prince may not report directly to him and may sometimes take on other duties. It is possible that some could have been recruited for an expedition to capture or interrogate Mr. Khashoggi, perhaps led by a senior intelligence official. But the presence among the suspects of an autopsy expert, Dr. Salah al-Tubaigy, suggests that killing might have been part of the original plan.

Dr. Tubaigy, who maintained a presence on several social media platforms, identified himself on his Twitter account as the head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics and held lofty positions in the kingdom’s premier medical school as well as in its Interior Ministry. He studied at the University of Glasgow and in 2015 he spent three months in Australia as a visiting forensic pathologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. His published writings include works on dissection and mobile autopsies.

Although there is no public record of a relationship between him and the royal court, such a senior figure in the Saudi medical establishment was unlikely to join a rogue expedition organized by an underling.

Dr. Tubaigy, whose name first appeared among reports of the suspects several days ago, has not publicly addressed the allegations. None of the suspects could be reached for comment.

David D. Kirkpatrick reported from Istanbul, Malachy Browne from New York, Ben Hubbard from Beirut, and David Botti in New York. Reporting was contributed by Alissa J. Rubin in Paris; Carlotta Gall in Istanbul; Adam Goldman and Christiaan Triebert in Washington; Karam Shoumali in Berlin; and Bian Elkhatib, Christoph Koettl and Barbara Marcolini in New York.

Mohammad bin Salman

Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: محمد بن سلمان بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود‎ Muhammad bin Salmān bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Sa‘ūd; born 31 August 1985 ), known colloquially as MbS, is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and serves as the country's Deputy Prime Minister (the title of Prime Minister being held by the king). He is also President of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs and Minister of Defense – the world's youngest at the time of his appointment. He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. He was appointed Crown Princein June 2017 following King Salman’s decision to remove Muhammad bin Nayef from all positions, making Mohammad bin Salman heir apparent to the throne.

He has led several successful reforms, which include regulations restricting the powers of the religious police,  and the removal of the ban on female drivers. Further cultural developments under his reign include the first Saudi public concerts by a female singer, the first Saudi sports stadium to admit women, and an increased presence of women in the workforce. His Vision 2030 program aims to diversify the Saudi economy through investment in non-oil sectors including technology and tourism. In 2016 he announced plans to list the shares of the state oil company Saudi Aramco.

Despite international praise for his strides towards the social and economic liberalisation of Saudi Arabia, commentators and human rights groups have been vocally critical of Mohammad bin Salman's leadership and the shortfalls of his reform program, citing a rising number of detentions of human rights activists, his intervention in Yemen, the escalation of the Qatar diplomatic crisis[19], the start of the Lebanon–Saudi Arabia dispute, and the arrest of members of the Saudi royal family in November 2017. NGOs including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch continue to criticize the Saudi government for its violations of human right

Mohammed bin Salman’s net worth is estimated at US$3.0 billion. In 2015, he purchased the Italian-built and Bermuda-registered yacht Serene from Russian vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler for €500 million. The New York Times has reported that he purchased the $300 million Chateau Louis XIV in France.

In December 2017, a number of sources reported that the Crown Prince, using his close associate Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Farhan as an intermediary, had bought Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi; the sale in November at $450.3 million set a new record price for a work of art. This report has been denied by the auctioneer Christie's, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and the Government of the United Arab Emirates, which has announced that it is the actual owner of the painting. The painting is presently located at its permanent home in the Louvre Museum's extension in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Mohammed has travelled extensively around the world, meeting with politicians, business leaders and celebrities. In June 2016, he travelled to Silicon Valley and met key people in the US high tech industry, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

In early 2018, Prince Mohammed visited the United States where he met with many top politicians, business people and Hollywood stars, including President Trump, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Michael Bloomberg, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey, Rupert Murdoch, Richard Branson, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Dwayne Johnson. President Trump praised his relationship with Prince Mohammed. Prince also visited the United Kingdom where he met with Prime Minister Theresa May, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William.

Mohammed bin Salman married Princess Sarah bint Mashhoor in 2008. They have four children

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