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Khashoggi: Video shows Saudis using body double to cover up murder

*Body double left consulate in journalist’s clothing
* Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi was murdered
* Trump says remains unsatisfied with Saudi accounts
A member of the 15-man team suspected in the death of Jamal Khashoggi dressed up in his clothes and was captured on surveillance cameras around Istanbul on the day the journalist was killed, a senior Turkish official has said.

An exclusive law enforcement surveillance footage,  part of the Turkish government’s investigation, that appears to show the man leaving the Saudi consulate by the back door, wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, a fake beard, and glasses, was obtained Monday.

 

Jamal Khashoggi

The same man was seen in Khashoggi’s clothing, according to the Turkish case, at the city’s world-famous Blue Mosque just hours after the journalist was last seen alive entering the consulate on October 2.

The man in the video, identified by the official as Mustafa al-Madani, was allegedly part of what investigators have said was a hit squad, sent to kill the journalist during a scheduled appointment to get papers for his upcoming wedding.

Saudi Arabia has presented a shifting narrative of what happened to Khashoggi. After weeks of denying involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi Arabia said that he was killed in the Istanbul consulate, saying his death was the result of a “fistfight.”

A Saudi source close to the royal palace later said that the Washington Post journalist died in a chokehold.

On Sunday, its foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, went further, describing Khashoggi’s death on Fox News as a “murder” and a “tremendous mistake.” He also said they “don’t know where the body is.”

“We are determined to uncover every stone. We are determined to find out all the facts. And we are determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder,” he said in the interview.

In the apparent cover-up that followed Khashoggi’s death, Madani, 57, who is of similar height, age and build to Khashoggi, 59, was used as a decoy for the journalist, according to the Turkish official.

A senior Turkish official said the video showed that Madani was brought to Istanbul to act as a body double.

“You don’t need a body double for a rendition or an interrogation,” the official said. “Our assessment has not changed since October 6. This was a premeditated murder and the body was moved out of the consulate.”

A Saudi source would not confirm or deny that Madani was sent to act as a body double, though he emphasized that the killing of Khashoggi was not intentional.

Madani, a decade older than the other members of the 15-man team, exited the consulate building by the back door along with an alleged accomplice. Madani was wearing what the video appears to show to be Khashoggi’s dark blazer, gray shirt opened at the collar and trousers.

Four hours earlier Madani had entered the consulate by the front door, alongside an alleged accomplice. Saudi’s forensic medicine chief Salah al-Tubaiqi, another key suspect who was identified using facial recognition analysis together with the timeline of events that day, was also present. The video appears to show Madani without a beard, wearing a blue and white checked shirt and dark blue trousers. When he exited the consulate dressed as Khashoggi, the video then appears to show him wearing the same dark pair of sneakers with white soles that he first arrived in prior to the journalist’s death.

“Khashoggi’s clothes were probably still warm when Madani put them on,” the senior Turkish official said.

Also, Spokesperson for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruling AK Party said the killing of Jamal Khashoggi was “a violently planned” murder that was subsequently covered up.

Omer Celik, spokesman for the AK party, told reporters at the party’s headquarters in Ankara that the perpetrators should be brought to justice, according to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu.

Riyadh admits Khashoggi died in Istanbul mission amid hunt for body

 

Celik spoke a few hours after  CNN published surveillance footage that showed what a Turkish source described as a “body double” leaving the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the day Khashoggi died. The Saudi operative, said by the Turkish source to be one of a 15-man team sent from Saudi Arabia to kill Khashoggi, was wearing the journalist’s clothes and was picked up on surveillance footage at locations around Istanbul.

Meanwhile, White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Monday he had urged Saudi Arabia’s crown prince to be transparent about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and told him “the world is watching” Riyadh’s account of the journalist’s disappearance.

Kushner said he had told the crown prince: “Just to be transparent, to be fully transparent. The world is watching. This is a very, very serious accusation and a very serious situation.”

Asked how the prince responded, Kushner, speaking on, said: “We’ll see.”

Kushner said the United States was in a “fact-finding phase” on the case and had its “eyes wide open”. He did not say when or by what means he had communicated with Prince Mohammed.

Saudi crown prince’s sacks aides over Khashoggi’s death


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