New audio confirms that Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. The Times cited Turkish media, which they said obtained the gruesome evidence.
“They severed his fingers during an interrogation and later beheaded and dismembered him,” the paper reported. Turkish officials confirmed details that first appeared in the country’s pro government newspaper Yeni Şafak.
The Times report represents a major new development in the case and blows a hole in more than a week of categorical denials from Saudi Arabia that Khashoggi was murdered on the orders of crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A pro-government newspaper in Turkey listed 15 names and photographs of men they believe were flown to Istanbul from the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
Earlier this week, President Trump said that the king of Saudi Arabia had denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, adding that “it sounded to me like maybe these could’ve been rogue killers.”
News of his disappearance and possible murder prompted a growing number of media companies and executives to drop out of the Future Investment Initiative, which will be held Oct. 23-25 in Riyadh. That includes Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin, The Economist editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, and LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong. Similarly, The New York Times announced it would no longer be a media partner of the event.
On Monday, CNN reported that the Saudis were prepared to make a statement surrounding the death.
NEW: According to sources, the Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey. @clarissaward @TimListerCNN report
— David P Gelles (@gelles) October 15, 2018