Ankara (AFP) – Evidence of the enforced disappearance or assassination of a Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul by agents of his country was revealed by Turkish media on Wednesday as his fiancee seeks help from Donald Trump.
Turkish TVs broadcast CCTV footage, including the entry to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the team suspected of being responsible for his disappearance.
Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist criticizing the power of Ryad who wrote for the Washington Post, went to the consulate on October 2, by appointment, for administrative procedures.
According to the Turkish police, it never came out, but Ryad says the opposite.
On the pictures, Mr. Khashoggi appears, entering the consulate at 1:14 pm. A black van is visible, parked nearby.
Other images show a van entering the consulate and then come out and go to 15:08, according to the 24 TV channel, at the residence of the nearby consul.
Turkish sources, citing the ongoing investigation, said during the weekend that Mr. Khashoggi had been murdered in the consulate. But some media reported on Tuesday the possibility that he was kidnapped and taken to Saudi Arabia.
Ryad firmly denied the thesis of the assassination.
The Washington Post said, citing an informed source, that US intelligence had intercepted communications between Saudi Arabian officials prior to Khashoggi ‘s disappearance, citing his kidnapping.
– “Assassination Team” –
The Turkish police on Saturday revealed that a group of 15 Saudis had made their way back to Istanbul and the consulate on the day of the journalist’s disappearance.
TV and other channels also broadcast images that they claim to be the members of this group arriving at Istanbul airport and then at their hotel. According to these sources, they left the hotel in the morning to go to the consulate and then left in the evening.
The pro-government daily Sabah revealed on Tuesday that two private planes had arrived from Saudi Arabia in Istanbul that day and that the people on board had reserved rooms in hotels near the consulate but had not been there. the night.
On Wednesday, the same newspaper published the names, age and photographs of fifteen men portrayed as the “assassination team” rushed by Ryad.
The name of one of these people, Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, corresponds to that of a lieutenant-colonel of the Saudi Forensic Department.
The Turkish authorities obtained permission on Tuesday to search the Saudi consulate, but this search has not yet taken place.
The journalist’s fiancée asked Tuesday in the Washington Post for help from US President Donald Trump to “shed light” on the case.
“I implore President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal’s disappearance,” Hatice Cengiz wrote in a column published by Khashoggi’s daily paper.
– “Me, I talk” –
The Saudi was exiled in 2017 to the United States, after falling out of favor at the court of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, nicknamed “MBS”.
In an interview with the BBC three days before his disappearance, Khashoggi said he did not intend to return to his country.
“When I hear about the arrest of a friend who did nothing that deserves an arrest, it makes me think that I should not go in. Me, I speak, this friend of mine did not even speak. “he said to explain his decision.
At a time when pressure is mounting on the US administration to intervene on this issue with his Saudi ally, US Defense Minister Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that the United States “follow very closely the situation.”
Trump said he was “worried” Monday about the fate of Mr. Khashoggi, noting that “bad stories are circulating” about him.
Deploring a belated and timid American reaction, Sarah Margon of Human Rights Watch said Washington “has the tools to respond quickly, it’s a matter of political will.”