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Saudi agents stripped Khashoggi, wore clothes after murder: CNN report

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khashoggi body double cctv
Surveillance
footage of Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul and what appears to be a body double wearing Khashoggi’s
clothes around the city.

CCTV/Hurriyet
via AP; CNN


  • Surveillance footage CNN published Monday appears to
    show a man dressed in Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s
    clothes leaving the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and walking
    around the city after his death.
  • The man, identified by Turkish officials as Mustafa
    al-Madani, wore a fake beard and glasses in order to look more
    like the journalist, the footage showed.
  • He allegedly formed part of a 15-member hit squad
    dispatched from Saudi Arabia to Istanbul to confront
    Khashoggi.
  • The Saudi government is now claiming the critic’s death
    was a “rogue operation” gone wrong that operatives at the
    consulate tried to “cover up.”

Saudi agents suspected of orchestrating journalist Jamal
Khashoggi’s death reportedly stripped Khashoggi and had an
apparent body double wear his clothes around the city,
CNN reported Monday
, citing surveillance footage and an
unnamed senior Turkish official.

The agent, identified by the official as Mustafa al-Madani,
entered the consulate in his own clothes about two hours before
Khashoggi arrived on October 2, according to CNN.

Madani was part of a
15-member hit squad
dispatched from Saudi Arabia to Istanbul
to confront Khashoggi at the consulate, the Turkish official told
CNN.

The surveillance footage forms part of Turkey’s investigation
into Khashoggi’s death. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
vowed to reveal the “naked truth”
about the killing last
Tuesday.

Hours after Khashoggi entered the consulate, Madani and another
agent left by the consulate’s back door, the footage showed.
Madani was wearing Khashoggi’s clothes — a grey shirt and a dark
jacket — and had on a fake beard and glasses to look more like
the journalist, CNN reported.

Leaving through the back door meant that Madani would have gone
unnoticed by Khashoggi’s fiancée, who was waiting at the front
entrance for at least 11 hours.

CNN’s source, the Turkish official, said: “Khashoggi’s clothes
were probably still warm when Madani put them on.”

Reuters on Sunday also reported that Madani
dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes to look like the journalist had
left the consulate, citing an unnamed senior Saudi official.

The surveillance footage shows Madani and the other agent taking
a taxi to Istanbul’s crowded Sultanahmet Square. They then
disappeared into a toilet, and when they emerged, Madani was
wearing his own clothes again and clutching a plastic bag, which
they then throw away.

Turkish officials believe that the bag contained Khashoggi’s
clothes, CNN reported.



Watch CNN’s full report, which includes the surveillance
footage, here »


Why use a body double?


Jamal Khashoggi
Protesters
holding signs saying “Free Jamal Khashoggi” outside the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul shortly after Khashoggi’s
disappearance.

Chris McGrath/Getty
Images


The use of a body double squares with Riyadh’s initial claims
that Khashoggi left the consulate the same day he went in, and
that it didn’t know where Khashoggi went.

The kingdom has since changed its narrative on Khashoggi’s
disappearance,
admitting last Friday
— 17 days after the incident — that
Khashoggi died inside the consulate. Saudi court officials
attributed the death to a physical confrontation gone wrong, and
claimed that Khashoggi died in a chokehold while being
interrogated.

Saudi Arabia has sought to distance its crown prince and de facto
ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, from the killing by blaming the
episode on a
rogue operation
conducted without the Saudi leadership and
intelligence services’ knowledge.

On Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Fox News
that “even the senior leadership of our intelligence service was
not aware of” Khashoggi’s murder.

“This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the
authorities and responsibilities they had,” he said. “They made a
mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate, and
they tried to cover up for it.”

But the unnamed Turkish official told CNN that Madani’s presence
refutes the Saudis’ claim that they only wanted to interrogate
Khashoggi.

“You don’t need a body double for a rendition or an
interrogation,” they said. “This was a premeditated murder and
the body was moved out of the consulate.”

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