In a massive new twist to the saga surrounding the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a bombshell new report in a Turkish newspaper now claims that the CIA finally has the evidence it needs to implicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of murder, according to Haaretz.
Ever since the killing of Khashoggi in Istanbul’s Saudi embassy in early October, Turkish media has steadily published reports accusing the Saudi administration of carrying out the execution. While Saudi Arabia denied any knowledge of the killing and pleaded innocence initially, the constant barrage of growing evidence has meant that it has had to alter its position on the killing. Even so, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman still claims to have not given the order to kill Khashoggi, leading Donald Trump on Wednesday to issue a statement which said that there was no way to know the truth, but the explosive new report could change all that.
According to Haaretz, Hurriyet newspaper journalist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote in a column that the CIA has in its possession a phone call recording between Mohammed bin Salman and his brother and ambassador to the United States Khalid bin Salman, in which the crown prince allegedly passed orders to “silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible.”
According to the report, CIA Director Gina Haspel “signaled” the existence of the recording during a visit to Ankara last month. There have been reports of a Khashoggi death tape in existence, which reportedly captured the ominous last moments of the journalist before he was killed, but this is the first time that a report has claimed that the CIA also has a recording of Mohammed bin Salman ordering to “silence” Khashoggi.
“It is being said that CIA chief Gina Haspel indicated this during her visit to Turkey,” the columnist wrote in the Hurriyet Daily News, before claiming that the tape reveals the Saudi crown prince giving “orders to silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible in a call which was monitored by the U.S. agency.”
However, when a Turkish official was contacted by Reuters, he denied having any information on the existence of such a recording. At the moment, it is impossible to verify the truth of the report published in the Turkish newspaper, but if such a tape exists with the CIA, it could go some way in explaining why it has concluded that Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the journalist’s death, per the Washington Post.