One day after Donald Trump, in an Associated Press interview, appeared to accept the claim of Saudi Arabia's king that the country's crown prince was not involved in the alleged horrific murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a new report by a London-based Middle East news outlet says that it has linked nearly half of the alleged Saudi hit squad believed to have killed the 60-year-old columnist directly to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who now rules the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The new report also says that after apparently dismembering and murdering Khashoggi, the reported killers went to the home of Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi, where they had dinner. As the Inquisitr reported, an earlier MEE report said that the Saudi assassins began dismembering Khashoggi while the journalist remained alive, as they listened to music through earphones.
Seven of the 15-member team that flew into Istanbul, Turkey, on the morning of October 2 — and allegedly mutilated, tortured and murdered Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate there later in the day — "belong to bin Salman's personal security and protection detail," according to the report by Middle East Eye editor David Hearst, who was a foreign correspondent with Britain's Guardian newspaper for 29 years before joining MEE.
But Hearst's Wednesday report contains yet another chilling detail in the emerging account of Khashoggi's alleged horrific murder.
"The suspects went and ate dinner at the Saudi consul-general's residence after murdering and dismembering Khashoggi inside the consulate, a source in the Istanbul Prosecutor General's office also told MEE on Wednesday," Hearst reported in his Wednesday scoop on the Middle East Eye site.
Hearst wrote that he had "obtained a document from the Saudi Interior Ministry detailing (the suspects') ranks, dates of birth, passport and telephone numbers and when they accompanied bin Salman on trips abroad," but added that he declined to publish the list in order to protect the safety of his sources.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that it had obtained scanned images of passports carried by seven of the men in the 15-man Saudi squad that landed in Turkey on October 2.
In his AP interview published on Tuesday, Trump compared claims that bin Salman was connected to Khashoggi's disappearance and apparent murder to the sexual assault allegations against now-confirmed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying that both were being treated as "guilty until proven innocent," the Post quoted.
Trump added that in his view, Kavanaugh "was innocent all the way. So I was unconcerned." He also claimed that he has spoken with both bin Salman and the prince's father, Saudi Arabian King Salman, and both "were very strong in their denial about themselves knowing."