Newspaper says Turkey has audio of Saudi writer's slaying

Roman Schwartz
October 14, 2018

The Turkish government has informed American officials that it has audio and video recordings proving that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared from his country's consulate in Istanbul last week, was killed inside the building, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.

Ms Cengiz had earlier called on President Trump to fully investigate her fiance's disappearance and Washington insiders claim the reported recording provides "persuasive and gruesome evidence" that he was murdered.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi entered the building to get some documents.

Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC that the Trump administration is concerned about Khashoggi's status; however, he still intends to attend the conference.

But the President all but ruled out cancelling US$110 billion in United States arms sales to Saudi Arabia, arguing that doing so would be "very foolish for our country" and only end up harming United States defence industries and others.

Media reports in the US say Turkish officials have audio and video recordings that prove the Washington Post columnist was interrogated, tortured and killed by a Saudi security team inside the consulate, where he was seeking official documents before his upcoming wedding.

Saudi Arabia denies any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, claiming he left the consulate that afternoon.

Turkish sources said the initial assessment of the police was that Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government, had been deliberately killed inside the consulate.

"The moments when Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and murdered were recorded in the Apple watch's memory", it added.

Trump said he would probably speak to Saudi Arabia's King Salman over the weekend "because I think it's appropriate for me to ask him what's going on".

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Mr Khashoggi's disappearance sparked worldwide comdemnation.

Trump made the comments in an interview for CBS News on Saturday and said there was much at stake with the case, "maybe especially so" because Khashoggi was a reporter. But the careful wording appeared to leave open the possibility that Khashoggi died or was killed during an attempt to detain him, as some have speculated.

SPA said on Friday that Saudi Arabia's interior minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif, condemned the "lies and baseless allegations" against the kingdom, although he praised the joint investigation with Turkey.

He urged it to do so and allow Turkish officials to enter the consulate. "But I have to conduct the business of the International Monetary Fund in all corners of the world", Lagarde said in Bali, where the annual International Monetary Fund meetings are taking place.

"We are making sure Canadians' expectations and laws are always being followed", he said.

Turkish authorities recovered the audio from Khashoggi's iPhone and his iCloud account, the newspaper said.

Saudi Arabia is hosting a key investment conference in Riyadh this month.

It was not immediately clear whether it would have been technically feasible for Khashoggi's Apple phone to transfer audio to his phone, which he had given to his fiancee before entering the consulate.

The journalist has had long-standing ties to the Saudi royal family, but has written critically of the current government and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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