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Khashoggi death: How Saudi Arabia altered its account

24 Octobre 2018

Surveillance footage was aired on Monday showing a man wearing what appeared to be Jamal Khashoggi's clothes leaving the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Turkish government told USA officials that it has audio and video recordings, which confirmed that Khashoggi killed in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.

Soon after, Madani reappears wearing the same clothes that he was wearing when cameras captured him entering the consulate at 11:03am, two hours before Khashoggi arrived.

At the same time, Germany, France and Britain urged Saudi Arabia to explain how Khashoggi had died at the country's consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia has given shifting explanations about what happened to Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and strong critic of the crown prince, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on october 2.

On Saturday, Saudi state media said King Salman had fired five officials over the killing carried out by a 15-man hit team, including Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide who ran social media for Prince Mohammed.

Turkish pro-government media has said the team interrogated, tortured and decapitated Khashoggi but a pro-government columnist Abdulkadir Selvi on Monday wrote in Hurriyet daily that Khashoggi was strangled to death before he was cut up into 15 pieces.

The office of the Turkish presidency said early on Monday (Tuesday NZT) that Erdogan and US President Donald Trump had spoken by phone the night before and had agreed to "clear up the Jamal Khashoggi incident".

Erdogan said at the weekend he would give new details in a speech on Tuesday about the disappearance of Khashoggi, who was murdered nearly three weeks ago after stepping inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

TRT also published photographs showing Khashoggi entering the consulate wearing what appeared to be a black jacket, light gray short and gray trousers. Accounts started with claims that Mr Khashoggi walked out of the consulate, before moving on to blaming "rogue killers" and finally settling on the supposed fight that erupted during what officials said were "discussions".

Saudi officials originally said Khashoggi, who stepped inside the doors of the diplomatic mission on October 2, had left unharmed, before announcing he was killed inside the building in what they described as an altercation. He has spearheaded a reform drive for the kingdom but now faces a stream of allegations - denied by Riyadh - that he ordered the killing of Khashoggi.

A leading Republican US Senator said on Sunday he believed Saudi Crown Prince Salman was responsible for the death of Khashoggi.

An anonymous Turkish official claimed 59-year-old Khashoggi, a U.S. citizen, was killed in a chokehold after resisting Saudi kidnapers inside the consulate.

For Saudi Arabia's allies - particularly in the West - the question will be whether they believe that the prince, who has painted himself as a reformer, has any culpability.

He added that pressure should be applied to force the Saudi leader to put an end to the Yemen war, which has been heavily criticised for human rights abuses, including high civilian casualties.

Over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country would suspend arms sales to the kingdom.

President Trump on Friday said he found the claim credible, but later shifted his statements as lawmakers from both parties blasted the Saudi claims.

The images contradict Saudi's admission on Saturday that the writer died inside the consulate during a "fistfight".

Khashoggi death: How Saudi Arabia altered its account