A Saudi agent believed to have taken part in the torture and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has died in a mysterious car accident, reports indicate.
A Turkish newspaper reported Thursday that 31-year-old Mashal Saad al-Bostani, a lieutenant with the Saudi Royal Air Forces, died after a traffic accident in the Saudi city of Riyadh. As the Hurriyet Daily News reported, Bostani was among the 15 Saudi agents who arrived in Turkey just before the presumed murder of the Washington Post journalist and entered the Saudi consulate before Khashoggi entered and disappeared. They left afterward, and Khashoggi has not been seen since. Reports indicate that he was tortured and killed inside the consulate.
A Hurriyet Daily News columnist noted that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman "would do anything to get rid of evidence" and that others involved in Khashoggi's suspected murder could also be targets. One of those was Saudi Arabia's consul, Mohammad al-Otaibi, who was reportedly in the consulate at the time of Khashoggi's murder and could be heard on an audio recording telling the team of agents to "do it somewhere else outside or I will be in trouble." Otaibi was told to "shut up if you want to live when you are back in Saudi Arabia," the report claimed.
Amid the mysterious death of one of Jamal Khashoggi's alleged killers, new links are emerging between the team suspected of killing the journalist and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Haaretz reported that one of the team members had traveled to the United States with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul just before Khashoggi was murdered.
Turkish officials are investigating Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and have searched both the consulate and the home of the consul.
Meanwhile, gruesome new details have emerged about Jamal Khashoggi's killing. A report from the London-based news outlet Middle East Eye claimed that the 60-year-old journalist was alive when his torture began and that his screams could be heard by a witness inside the consulate. The team sent to murder the Saudi dissident completed the job in just seven minutes, reports indicate, and had never intended to interrogate him, only carry out his murder.The Middle East Eye report claims that Jamal Khashoggi was dragged onto a table where he was dismembered. The Saudi agent who led the dismemberment then reportedly put on headphones and listened to music to drown out the screams, and advised the other agents to do the same.