Video footage leaked to Turkish media shows a Saudi hit team in Istanbul carrying bags said to contain the remains of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The video shows the arrival of some of the members of the team at the Saudi consul-general’s residence in Istanbul on the day that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate, several hundred metres from the residence.
One of the hit team members is seen carrying bags, which according to Turkish media, may contain body parts of the journalist, who was a critic of Saudi Arabia‘s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate on October 2 to obtain documents certifying he divorced his ex-wife so he could remarry. He was killed and dismembered inside the consulate, in what Turkey called a “premeditated murder” orchestrated by the Saudi government.
Saudi officials have countered that claim, insisting Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue operation”, after initially claiming he had left the building before vanishing.
Turkey said the killing was ordered at the highest level of Saudi leadership, implying Prince Mohammed was behind the murder. The kingdom has maintained the prince, also known as MBS, had no knowledge of the killing.
Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, said the video first aired on Turkish new channel A Haber, which sourced the footage through Ferhat Unlu, a journalist with the investigation unit of the Daily Sabah newspaper.
The publication is known for its close ties to Turkish intelligence and has in the past reported on a series of leaks from the Turkish investigation into the murder of Khashoggi.
The journalist recently released a co-authored book about the killing.
“The reporter said there is no evidence that the luggage carried by the hit team was taken out of the consul’s residence. Therefore, we are facing new questions,” Kaseoglu reported.
“The consul-general’s residence was searched, but there was a well that the Saudis did not let the Turkish investigators search properly. These new pictures have changed the course of the investigation,” Koseoglu added.
On Sunday evening, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s former foreign minister and current state minister in charge of foreign affair, Adel al-Jubeir. It is not yet clear what was discussed in during the call.