A Turkish television station has broadcast leaked CCTV video footage of what is said to be Saudi officials carrying the dismembered body of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in several containers.
The footage — broadcast by A-Haber on Sunday night — shows a group of men, some very well-dressed, carrying three suitcases and two big black bags from a car into the residence of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul on October 2, the day Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, just hundreds of meters away.
A-Haber reports that a small bus transported Khashoggi’s body, the location of which remains unknown, from the consulate where he was killed to the official’s residence.
Khashoggi entered the embassy in order to prepare documents for his planned marriage but was confronted by a group of more than a dozen men sent to Turkey from Saudi Arabia to slay him.
The Saudis initially claimed that he left the building unharmed but eventually said Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue operation.” Reportedly, the CIA and other Western entities say that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, ordered the hit on Khashoggi. MBS claimed the title of crown prince in a coup last year against his cousin Muhammad bin Nayef, making him the country’s de-facto ruler since.
As MBS shook up the kingdom, placing former regional ally Qatar under diplomatic and economic embargo and imprisoning world leaders and a number of high-ranking Saudi officials in the capital, Khashoggi, a longtime ally of the royal family, became increasingly ostracized. Despite discussing plans to set up a pro-Saudi think tank in Washington, DC, Khashoggi opted instead to take a job writing columns for the Washington Post.
An executive at the Qatar Foundation International, Maggie Salem, would “shape” those columns, including “proposing topics, drafting material and prodding [Khashoggi] to take a harder line against the Saudi government,” the Washington Post admitted earlier in December.
“A voluminous collection of messages obtained by The Post” shows their own writer “accepted significant help with his columns,” including allowing Salem to pre-review his pieces and propose language to be included in the columns before he sent them to his Post editor, Karen Attiah. The foundation also paid a translator and a researcher whom Khashoggi relied on.
Saudi Arabia was, according to The Post, aware of Khashoggi’s connections to the pro-Qatar institute prior to his killing, potentially due to the assistance of Israeli-made spyware.