AVA- Citing three people familiar with the recording, The Times on Monday reported a secret phone conversation made by Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a member of the 15-man Saudi hit squad that killed Khashoggi, to a superior believed to be bin Salman’s aide.
In the phone call, which came shortly after Khashoggi’s murder on October 2 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Mutreb instructed his superior in Arabic to “tell your boss” that the murder mission had been accomplished.
American intelligence officials said “your boss” was a reference to MbS.
Meanwhile, Turkish intelligence officers told American officials they believed that Mutreb was speaking to bin Salman’s aide. Mutreb himself is a security officer who has frequently travelled with the Saudi crown prince.
According to the report, intelligence officials view the recording as “some of the strongest evidence” linking bin Salman to the murder of his outspoken critic.
“A phone call like that is about as close to a smoking gun as you are going to get,” said former CIA officer Bruce O. Riedel. “It is pretty incriminating evidence.”
Saudi officials, however, denied that the crown prince “had any knowledge whatsoever” of Khashoggi’s killing.
Riyadh finally acknowledged that Khashoggi had been murdered in a “premeditated” operation, after weeks of denials of any involvement in his disappearance.
Turkey’s chief prosecutor said the Washington Post columnist had been strangled upon arrival at the Saudi consulate and then dismembered.
A source at Turkish attorney general’s office said Saudi authorities had used acid and other chemicals to dispose of the body.
Separately on Tuesday, Turkey’s Daily Sabah daily released X-ray pictures of the Saudi hit squad’s luggage taken at airport security checks.
The photos showed a large scissor, scalpel and an electroshock device.
Wednesday 14 November 2018 01:32