Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah reported Sunday that the dismembered body of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was taken to the home of the Saudi consul-general in five suitcases. Al Jazeera reports that an unidentified official told the Turkish paper that the consul-general lives near the Instanbul consulate where Khashoggi was strangled on October 2. Sabah‘s report came 48 hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he believed the order for Khashoggi’s murder came down from the “highest levels” of Saudi Arabia.
The group of people who carried out Khashoggi’s murder reportedly included 15 people. The three main figures in the group were Maher Mutreb, Salah Tubeigy, and Thaar al-Harbi. Mutreb was described as a senior intelligence official with a direct connection to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman. Tubeigy was a major player because he served as head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics and was a colonel in the Saudi army. Al-Harbi was a lieutenant in the Saudi royal guard and was promoted to that position a year ago after being recognized for bravery in defense of bin-Salman’s Jeddah palace. Video from closed-captioned television shows the three men travelling in separate vehicles to the consul-general’s home about 3 p.m. on the day of Khashoggi’s murder. Within two hours, Mutreb is seen leaving the residence. It’s not known what was done with the journalist’s body parts once they were brought to the home. Al Jazeera journalist Andrew Simmons explains this mysterious facet of the case.
“This is a looming question. No one knows where the body went. One Turkish official is reported saying that there was acid used to dissolve the bodies; there’s another report that the well shaft was used in the garden of the consul-general’s residence – it is unclear.”
Thus far, there has been no evidence to support the claim that Khashoggi’s body was dissolved in acid.
Simmons added that suspicions that the Saudi government is not being open with Turkish investigators continue. The two countries are currently conducting a joint investigation, but Turkish officials have charged that Saudis have not been forthcoming in answering questions they have posed about the case.
With the case being over a month old now, there is also concern that the attention of the world is fading and that the chances of the United States taking action against Saudi Arabia are diminishing. President Erdogan called for swift action this week, saying, “We must reveal the identities of the puppet masters behind Khashoggi’s killing.”