Saudi hit-squad reveals new details of Khashoggi murder
A Turkish newspaper has published new details about the team that carried out the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October.
The Daily Sabah’s Turkish newspaper released a report that had testimonies from those involved in the assassination, some of whom explicitly attempted to cover up the role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the operation.
According to the report, Ahmed Asiri, deputy chief of Saudi intelligence, tried to protect former adviser to the Royal Court Saud al-Qahtani, dubbed as Saudi Arabia’s Steve Bannon, and bin Salman after the murder.
Asiri had tried to hide any trace of bin Salman’s involvement, stressing the details of the trials "show the role played by Mansour Abu Hussein, and that bin Salman was the top commander of the murder.”
According to Daily Sabah, Abu Hussein, an official in charge of the team responsible for Khashoggi’s murder said in a testimony that he had contacts with Asiri and al-Qahtani, who asked him to bring Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia.
"Asiri spoke to me and ordered me to bring Khashoggi by force to Saudi Arabia, and I set up three separate groups for this mission: intelligence, negotiation, logistics”, he said in a statement.
He added the intent was to kidnap Khashoggi if he refused to leave with them.
A conflicting statement came from Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a Saudi intelligence officer who said the plan was to kill Khashoggi if he did not comply.
He said that after touring the consulate, he realised it would be difficult to kidnap Khashoggi and to take him out of the consulate inconspicuously, so killing him was their only other resort.
“After we killed him, we initially wanted to bury the body in the consulate’s garden, but we decided to dismember him so his corpse is untraceable”, he said.
The report added that Khashoggi was killed with narcotics and then dismembered.
A man who posed as Khashoggi after he was murdered admitted to wearing his clothes and glasses so security footage had “evidence” of Khashoggi leaving the consulate.
"I wore Jamal’s clothes and glasses to show he came out of the consulate”, said team member Mohammed al-Madani, who posed as Khashoggi.
“I then went into Sultan Ahmet Square and in one of the toilets I changed back into my clothes and I threw away Jamal's clothes and glasses,” he added.
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