Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in Khashoggi case

Hatice Cengiz, the Turkish fiancée of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and her friends wait in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey

Hatice Cengiz, the Turkish fiancée of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and her friends wait in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey

Turkish media on Wednesday published images of a 15-member "assassination squad" allegedly sent to kill dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi arriving in Istanbul and of a black van traveling from the Saudi Consulate to the consul's home.

Worldwide media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday called for an independent global investigation into the fate of Jamal Khashoggi - the Saudi journalist who has been missing since October 2 - saying his disappearance has come amid "a particularly harsh and opaque crackdown on Saudi journalists and bloggers".

Stills of the airport show the men arrived from Riyadh to Istanbul in two private jets with the tail numbers HZ SK1 and HZ SK2, the Daily Sabah reported.

He first visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 28 September to obtain a document certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife, but he was told he would have to return.

Officials also say they had become aware that Khashoggi may have been kidnapped before the second plane had departed, and monitored seven Saudis in a waiting room as they checked their luggage for a second time.

Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper and other media alleged Wednesday that the Saudi Consulate's 28 local staff were given leave on October 2 on grounds that a "diplomats' meeting" would be held there on that day. The biggest questions are: was he killed inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul by Saudi agents, or has he been abducted and is still alive?

Jamal Khashoggi is one of the Arab world's most prominent journalists and commentators. The poster reads in Turkish: ' Jamal Khashoggi, missing since October 2, 2018'.

15 suspects, video footage offer new clues in case of missing Saudi reporter
Khashoggi's fiancée asks Trump to 'shed light' on his fate

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government adviser, had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since previous year fearing possible arrest. He is an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia who has dared to defy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler.

Signs of such a challenge began to emerge Monday night when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the Saudis to "support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation".

In an off-the-record interview published by the BBC, Khashoggi said he didn't think he'd be able to go back to Saudi Arabia, but still called Mohammad bin Salman's reforms a time of "great transformation" in his country.

CCTV footage broadcast by Turkish TV appears to show groups of Saudi men entering the country via Istanbul airport and then checking in to the hotels.

Among the assassination team was a forensic expert who brought a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi's body after killing him, the Times reported on Tuesday, citing an unidentified "senior official".

The private jets flew out of Istanbul - with one going to Egypt and the other to Dubai.

Trump, who took his first overseas trip as US President to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said Tuesday he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi, "but I will be at some point", without elaborating. Saudi officials haven't acknowledged that. All we do know is he's disappeared, and that Turkish investigators will now search the consulate.

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