Khashoggi body parts possibly smuggled out of Turkey
Body parts of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi could have been smuggled out of Istanbul hours after his killing, Turkey’s defence minister claimed on Sunday.
Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, but so far no trace of his body has been found.
Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted by CNN Turk saying that one possible scenario is that Khashoggi's dismembered body was stored in suitcases and taken out of Turkey after he was killed by a Saudi murder squad.
"One probability is that they left the country three to four hours after committing the murder. They may have taken out Khashoggi's dismembered corpse inside luggage without facing problems due to their diplomatic immunity," Akar said according to Reuters.
Ankara believes a 15 man Saudi squad flew into Turkey that day to carry out the murder of Khashoggi, and has hinted the killing was ordered by powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
A CIA report has allegedly concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered Khashoggi's murder, although President Donald Trump's administration downplayed this assessment on Sunday.
Pro-Ankara Yeni Safak Turkish news alleged on Sunday that UAE-based, former Palestinian security chief Mohamed Dahlan played a role in sending a four-man clean-up team to erase all signs of Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The New Arab cannot independently verify these claims.
Saudi Arabia has put forward a number of contradictory reports regarding Khashoggi's murder, at first claiming that the journalist left the consulate building alive.
The latest story cited by Riyadh is that a group of intelligence, political and military officials hatched the plot to kill government critic Khashoggi without the knowledge of Prince Mohammed.
This has been rejected by most analysts.