Jamal Khashoggi mystery deepens in Turkey, as conflicting reports of possible Saudi involvement emerge

In the week since journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished after allegedly walking into Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, the mystery has only deepened — with one report claiming a Saudi “assassination squad” killed him and others casting doubt that he was even in Turkey.

Turkish media published images and video Wednesday purportedly showing surveillance camera images of the Saudi hit men sent to target Khashoggi at the time of his Oct. 2 disappearance. State-run broadcaster TRT aired video it said showed the Saudis arriving by a private jet and then leaving a hotel. The video also showed Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate. An hour and 54 minutes later, according to the time stamp, a black Mercedes Vito with diplomatic license plates — which resembled a van parked outside the consulate when the writer walked in — drove about 1.2 miles to the consul’s home and then parked inside a garage.

The Daily Sabah newspaper, which is another outlet close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of what it referred to as the “assassination squad” apparently taken at a passport checkpoint. The paper reported the men checked into two hotels in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and left later that day.

So far, no one has produced any footage allegedly showing Khashoggi leaving the consulate. The Washington Post reported Khashoggi went to the consulate to finalize papers for his wedding to his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

Khashoggi’s fiancée, who was waiting outside at the time, said the person seen in the video entering the Saudi consulate appeared to be Khashoggi. She also said the person in the video who was walking back and forth outside the consulate may have been her, but it was “too distant to be clear.”

Investigation into the fate of Saudi journalist intensifies

The footage was published as Turkish newspaper Sabah published the alleged identities of the 15 Saudi men Turkish authorities suspect were involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance, the BBCreported.

But in yet another twist, Turkish paper Haberturk reported Khashoggi’s family denied knowing he had a fiancee or plans to apply for a marriage license. The family also allegedly told Haberturk they were unaware Khashoggi having even traveled to Turkey — saying the last they knew, the writer was in Washington, D.C.

The accounts in Turkish outlets were not able to be independently verified.

Saudi Arabia has strongly denied any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance. Turkish officials fear the team killed Khashoggi, who wrote columns that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; however, the Kingdom dismisses those allegation as “baseless.”

Erdogan has not accused Saudi Arabia of being responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance but has said that if the Saudis have footage of him leaving the consulate they should release it.

The Washington Post published a column Tuesday calling on President Trump “to help shed light on Jamal’s disappearance.”

Trump said Tuesday he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi, “but I will at some point.”

Saudi Arabia denies involvement in writer's disappearance

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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