ISTANBUL: A Turkish official has told the Washington Post that slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s body was destroyed in acid on the grounds of the Saudi Consulate or at the nearby residence of the Saudi consul general.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, was killed inside the consulate on Oct. 2 after he went there to get documents for his upcoming marriage.
After a weeks-long denial, Saudi Arabia admitted on Oct. 25 that the journalist had fallen victim to a premeditated killing in the building and arrested 18 people.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb’s visit to Istanbul “ended with no concrete results” on Oct. 31, according to Turkish officials, leaving the question about the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body unanswered.
A senior Turkish official, who spoke to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation on Oct. 31, said biological evidence discovered in the consulate garden supports the theory that Khashoggi’s body was disposed of close to where he was killed and dismembered.
“Khashoggi’s body was not in need of burying,” the official was quoted as saying.
In a written press statement on Oct. 31, the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s office noted that their Saudi counterparts refuted earlier reports pointing to a “local collaborator” who disposed of Khashoggi’s body after it was delivered in a rug.
“The Saudi prosecutor who visited Istanbul has locked the case instead of shining a light on the murder,” daily Hürriyet columnist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote on Nov. 1.__Hurriyet