In a gory revelation about the sequence followed by the Saudi killer squad involved in dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, a Turkish newspaper Sabah has reported that Khashoggi’s corpse was dismembered and put into five suitcases which were taken to the consul’s residence near the consulate.
The newspaper, which is considered to be a pro-government media house, obviously having more connected reliable sources, cited unnamed officials in its reported published on Sunday, saying that Maher Mutreb, Salah Tubeigy and Thaar al-Harbi were the three key figures from the 15-member hit squad that were involved in dismembering Khashoggi’s body and removing it from the premises.
The report said that Mutreb was a direct aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, while Tubeigy was the head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics and also a colonel in the Saudi army.
Last year, Thaar Al-Harbi was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Saudi royal guard for his bravery in defending the crown prince’s palace in Jeddah.
The leak of the details coincides with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement in which he said he believed that the order to kill the journalist came from the “highest levels” of the Saudi state.
The Turkish media broke this story immediately after President Recep Teyyip Erdogan, in an opinion piece published by the US newspaper The Washington Post on Friday, called on Saudi Arabian authorities to answer outstanding questions concerning the killing of the 59-year-old’s journalist last month. “We must reveal the identities of the puppet masters behind Khashoggi’s killing,” Erdogan said.
Earlier, Saudi authorities have not allowed Turkish investigators to check the 20-meter deep well in the lawn the official residence of its Consul Mohammed Otaibi, who has already left Istanbul and has been reportedly removed from his post, pending investigation into the killing.
The dead body of Khashoggi, who used to regularly contribute column in Washington Post, criticising the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s policies, including severing ties with Qatar, launching of war against Yemen and arrests of the activists, remains missing.
A Turkish prosecutor said, on Wednesday, that Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered soon after entering the building. Turkish media outlets have named the 15 Saudi suspects who flew into Istanbul by two private planes and left on the same day the journalist was last seen on October 2.
Another report spoke of no substantial progress in the investigation conducted by the joint Turkish-Saudi team of experts. Turkish officials have also complaint of non-cooperation from Saudi authorities and non-sharing the information regarding the killing of the journalist.