Jamal Khashoggi: 'Appalling' recordings shocked intelligence officer, Erdogan says

Hannah Rogers
November 14, 2018

Speaking to journalists on his return from World War I commemorations in Paris, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said audio recordings of the killing that Turkey shared with officials from Saudi Arabia and other nations were so "atrocious" that a Saudi intelligence official who heard them speculated that the killer may have been on heroin.

Citing three people familiar with a recording of Khashoggi's killing collected by Turkish intelligence, the newspaper said while he was not mentioned by name, U.S. officials believe "your boss" was a reference to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Six weeks after Khashoggi's death, Turkey is trying to keep up pressure on Prince Mohammed and has released a stream of evidence that undermined Riyadh's early denials of involvement.

The head of investigations at the Turkish Sabah newspaper has told Al Jazeera that Jamal Khashoggi's last words were "I'm suffocating ..." Asked if he has heard the recording himself, he said: "I have not". "Indeed when the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recordings, he was so shocked he said: "This one must have taken heroin, only someone who takes heroin would do this", he added, Reuters reports.

Khashoggi's murder provoked worldwide outrage but so far little concrete action by world powers against Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi crown prince is a close ally of US President Donald Trump, and on Tuesday National Security Advisor John Bolton attempted to contradict the NYT's intelligence sources' claims.

Turkish officials say, however, they remain unsure of what role, if any, Otaibi played in the actual killing.

Turkey has maintained that the hit was ordered at the highest levels of the Saudi government, steadily leaking gruesome details from the criminal investigation which undermine the Saudi version of events.

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Nader is an adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, a country that, along with Saudi Arabia and Israel, has identified Iran as the primary threat to stability in the Middle East.

Separately, Simon McDonald, who serves as British Prime Minister Theresa May's special envoy, met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Monday, in the first visit of a senior British official to the kingdom since Khashoggi's murder.

Turkish intelligence officers have told United States officials they believe Mutreb was speaking to one of the prince's aides, it reported.

Turkey's frustrations were compounded with the visit to Istanbul late last month of the chief Saudi prosecutor, who Turkish officials said was more interested in finding out what evidence Turkey had on the operation than in sharing any information about the 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia.

Paris - French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday said that France was not in possession of the alleged recordings related to the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as far as he was aware, contradicting remarks by Turkey's president. He was reported missing by his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain marriage documents on October 2.

"What counts for us is to establish the complete truth. whatever one may think of the recordings the entire truth can't be based on the Turkish recordings".

In a statement today, Saudi officials denied that the crown prince "had any knowledge whatsoever" of Khashoggi's killing.

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