After this investigation is finalized and we are certain, then we will continue to share the evidence with the public. These 15 people who came to Turkey did not come on their own. They were given orders.
That’s from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who apparently spoke to reporters while on a trip to Japan Tuesday.
Here’s a video from that trip that finds Cavusoglu stating the obvious, which is that the idea of 15 Saudis hopping on two Gulfstream IV jets, flying to Turkey and murdering a critic of the Crown Prince without the Crown Prince knowing about it, is patently absurd:
Turkey is now engaged in an ongoing, daily effort to keep the Jamal Khashoggi story in the news, while Riyadh and some of Saudi Arabia’s allies around the globe (Jared Kushner, for instance) are hoping against hope that everyone will forget the extrajudicial killing that occurred last month in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seized on the Khashoggi murder to paint himself as a force for good in the region while simultaneously using the evidence gathered by his intelligence apparatus as leverage in Washington, with the ultimate goal of engineering a royal shakeup in Riyadh.
The Trump administration has of course been reluctant to “jump to conclusions” where that actually means reluctant to admit the obvious, which is that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman likely ordered the killing and presided over an attempt to cover it up.
Over the course of the last month, Turkey has leaked a steady stream of tantalizing information about the murder, including gruesome details of Khashoggi’s dismemberment by Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy and his now infamous bone saw.
Turkey has reportedly shared an audio tape of the incident with CIA Director Gina Haspel and the entire world has now seen the CCTV video evidence which documents the arrival, movements and departure of the assassins.
Still missing is Khashoggi’s body, which was reportedly stuffed into a series of suitcases after it was dissected. Those suitcases were then delivered to Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi’s house, where, rumor has it, the remains were dissolved in acid.
In addition to Cavusoglu’s hints at more evidence implicating the Crown Prince (who Riyadh continues to insist did not order the killing), Sabah reported on Tuesday that the Saudis actually attempted to tear out the security cameras inside the consulate on October 2, the day Khashoggi met his end. They (the Saudis) also allegedly tried to hack the police cameras outside. Here’s al-Jazeera recapping:
According to the report, on October 6, at 1am local time, a consulate member staff went into the police security post outside the Saudi consulate to access the video system.
The staff member put in a digital lock code into the system, which did not dismantle any cameras; rather the code was to prevent access to any videos showing movement at the entrance, including Khashoggi’s arrival at the consulate.
Apparently, that was an exercise in futility, because according to Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, Turkish police had previously cracked the code, tapped into the system, and obtained a copy of the video. Here’s Simmons:
All of this demonstrates, according to Turkish officials, in terms of the … whole set of procedures, that there was an effort by the Saudi Arabian consulate to once again tamper with evidence. This follows a pattern of leaks which demonstrate beyond any doubt, according to the Turks, that the Saudis weren’t out to investigate a murder, they were out to cover it up.
Right. And again, this is one of those scenarios where you would be inclined to take Turkish pro-government media with a grain of salt were it not for the fact that Erdogan has a clear interest in telling the truth.
Because if he can prove to the international community that bin Salman was definitively behind the killing, he can apply all manner of pressure on Washington to push for the Crown Prince to be held accountable.
Cavusoglu’s Tuesday comments clearly indicate that Turkey intends to drag this out for as long as possible in order to see what they can accomplish without showing their hand.