Yet another bizarre twist has come up in the story of the death of Jamal Khashoggi. As you may recall, the Saudis sent a team in to assist Turkey’s investigation into the murder, arriving nine days after Khashoggi was first reported missing. What was advertised as a good-will gesture of cooperation turned out to be anything but, assuming the Turks are to be believed. (And we should keep in mind that the honesty of the Turks is always in question as long as Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in charge.) They are now claiming that at least some of the members of the investigative team were chemical and toxicology experts brought in specifically to “clean up” the crime scene and remove or destroy evidence. (Associated Press)
A newspaper close to Turkey’s government claims that a team from Saudi Arabia sent to help Turkish authorities investigate the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi worked instead to remove evidence of the slaying.
Sabah newspaper, citing “trusted sources,” said Monday that an 11-member team of Saudi investigators that arrived in Turkey nine days after Khashoggi was killed included a chemical expert and a toxicology expert.
On Saturday, the paper said Khashoggi’s body — which still hasn’t been found — was dismembered and removed from the Saudi Consulate in five suitcases.
Meanwhile, Khashoggi’s sons appealed for his remains to be returned so that he may be buried in Saudi Arabia.
As I already mentioned, you should keep in mind that the sourcing for this story is an unnamed informant speaking to one of the remaining Turkish newspapers. All of the media still operating in Turkey is completely controlled by Erdogan’s government, so any “whistleblowers” coming forward are no doubt agents of the state who are attempting to make the government look good or further their goals. And in this case, anything that causes trouble for Saudi Arabia is generally pleasing to Erdogan.
But even keeping those caveats in mind, does this story really sound all the unbelievable? To the contrary, I would say it almost seems obvious. Somebody in Saudi Arabia, whether it’s Mohammed bin Salman or someone a little further down the chain, organized the execution of Khashoggi and clearly wanted to keep their government’s hands as clean as possible.
Remember that they sent a body double to leave the embassy in Khashoggi’s clothes in an attempt to muddy the waters and throw investigators off the trail. Why wouldn’t they send in some forensic experts to further obfuscate the crime scene? At some point there’s going to have to be some measure of “justice” served in Saudi Arabia, if only so they can save face on the international stage. Don’t be surprised if the first we learn of it is after they’ve already executed the alleged perpetrators to keep them from speaking out. This news of a crime scene cleanup makes me even more convinced that we’re never going to get actual justice for Khashoggi.