It’s been almost a week that Jamal Khashoggi has not returned on his feet from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi to be murdered inside the consulate and have been examining motorway cameras in search of a black van they think carried the body.
According to the officials, the convoy left the consulate two hours after #JamalKhashoggi came in. Footage received from the security cameras reveal boxes being loaded in to the vans. All the vans had diplomatic number plates. Three of the six cars turned left on to the main road after leaving the consulate and the remaining turned right.
Turkey has an extensive system of motorway cameras, used to find evidences during criminal activities. The cameras have recorded the passage covered by the vans briefly. One of the vans with blacked out windows was on the prime focus for the officials.
President of Turkey RecepTayyip Erdoğan, who is personally following the case, said “We have to get an outcome from this investigation as soon as possible. The consulate officials cannot save themselves by simply saying: ‘He has left.’”
While the officials in Ankara are convinced that Jamal Khashoggi has been killed by a Saudi state hit squad that specially came to Istanbul to abduct or kill him. It seems like the squad was waiting for Khashoggi as it was his second visit to collect a document for his divorce from the consulate, after being told his papers were not ready on Friday. HaticeCengiz, his fiancé waited outside the consulate for him and alarmed the authorities four hours after he had gone inside.
Two Saudi planes had arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Tuesday. Both the planes departed separately on the same day, hours after Jamal Khashoggi was last seen. Saudi authorities confirmed that a “security delegation” was sent to Istanbul on Saturday without offering a reason or motive behind the same. However, Saudi denies its involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Khashoggi was living in exile in the US since last year. He wrote columns for the Washington Post critiquing Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms.
TuranKislacki, Khashogi’s friend, revealed that Khashoggi was approached by Saudi to return to Riyadh and become an adviser to Salman.
The international community has demanded an explanation, with France wanting to know how an “accomplished and esteemed” journalist has vanished.