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Footage shows Khashoggi impersonator after murder, undermining Saudi narrative of 'accidental killing' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Footage shows Khashoggi impersonator after murder, undermining Saudi narrative of 'accidental killing'

Turkish media have been receiving a steady stream of leaks [CNN]

Date of publication: 22 October, 2018

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Footage has been leaked of a member of the 15-man team that killed Jamal Khashoggi walking through Istanbul attempting to impersonate the journalist after his murder.

A senior Turkish official says surveillance footage showing a man wearing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s clothes leaving the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul indicates that his death was a pre-planned killing and that efforts were made to cover it up.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Omer Celik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling party, denied as “immoral” suggestions that Turkey was delaying announcing the findings of its investigation into Khashoggi’s death because it was engaged in an alleged “bargaining” process with Saudi Arabia.

Celik said: “We are faced with a situation in which it was a brutally planned (killing) and efforts were made to cover it up.”

The official said Turkey was leading a careful investigation to ensure that “nobody is falsely accused” and that the incident is not covered up.

“God willing the results will be brought into the open, those responsible will be punished and no one will dare think of carrying out such a thing again.”

Footage had earlier leaked of a member of the 15-man team that killed Jamal Khashoggi walking through Istanbul attempting to impersonate the journalist after his murder.

The surveillance camera videos, which were obtained by CNN, reportedly show Mustafa al-Madani wearing Khashoggi's clothes, a fake beard and glasses.

The footage suggests the team attempted to use Madani as a decoy to cover up the murder of the vocal critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A Turkish official told the outlet that the footage corroborates the belief that Khashoggi's murder was a premeditated political assassination and not an accident as Saudi authorities have claimed.

"You don't need a body double for a rendition or an interrogation," the official said.

Madani, who is decade older than the rest of the hit squad, is of similar height, age and build to Khashoggi.

After a fortnight of denials, Saudi authorities admitted on Saturday that Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Prince Mohammed, was killed after entering the consulate in Turkey.

Riyadh insisted that Khashoggi had left the consulate but failed to produce evidence of the false claim.

Riyadh is now facing a growing chorus of incredulity over its belated explanation that Khashoggi died in a "brawl", as world powers demand answers and the whereabouts of his body.

The leak is the latest to indicate that the operation intended to kill Khashoggi.

Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Safak  reported on Sunday that Prince Mohammed spoke on the phone with Khashoggi moments before he was murdered.

Turkish media have been receiving a steady stream of leaks many of which turned out to be accurate, including pictures of the hit team as they entered Turkey and reports of audio recordings of the murder said to be in the possession of Turkish authorities.

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