Turkish officials have informed the U.S. government that they have audio and video recordings to prove that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, according to The Washington Post.
> The recordings show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in Oct. 2 to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding, then killed him and dismembered his body, the officials said.
> The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the officials said.
> “The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” said one person with knowledge of the recording who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence.
> “You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” this person said. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
Another person familiar with the recording told The Post that men could be heard beating Khashoggi.
> The existence of such evidence would explain why Turkish officials were quick to blame Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi’s killing. But Turkish officials are wary of releasing the recordings, fearing they could divulge how the Turks spy on foreign entities in their country, the officials said.
Though it remains unclear whether U.S. officials have seen the video or heard the audio, Turkish officials reportedly have described the contents to American officials.
> The person who was briefed on the audio recording said it shows that after killing Khashoggi, the security team went to the home of the Saudi consul general, where staff were told to go home early. There is evidence of at least one phone call, as well, from inside the consulate, this person said.
To date, President Trump’s response to Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged killing has been lackluster at best.
> During a bill signing Thursday in the Oval Office, President Trump called Khashoggi’s suspected murder “a terrible thing,” but stopped short of assigning blame.
> “We’re looking at it very strongly,” Trump said. “We’ll be having a report out soon. We’re working with Turkey, we’re working with Saudi Arabia. What happened is a terrible thing, assuming that happened. I mean, maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised, but somehow I tend to doubt it.”