Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly “tortured and killed” at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Picture: AP
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly “tortured and killed” at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Picture: AP

Khashoggi ‘kill squad’ member found dead

ONE of the alleged "hit squad" behind the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has reportedly been killed in a "suspicious" car accident.

Meshal Saad M Albostani, a lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force, is said to have been killed in a car accident in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He is among a group of men wanted for questioning after Khashoggi went missing having entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago, reports The Sun.

Turkish pro-government news organisation, Yeni Safak, which carried the report of the crash, claims there are now fears he "could have been silenced."

Meshal Saad M Albostani was reportedly killed in a motorway smash in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Picture: CCTV
Meshal Saad M Albostani was reportedly killed in a motorway smash in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Picture: CCTV

It also reported that at the moment there was no further details about the fatal crash - which has not been confirmed by the authorities.

It comes as the US said it will give Saudi Arabia "a few more days" to work on its probe into the suspected murder of Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Sec. Pompeo, who had just reported to US President Donald Trump after travelling to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, told journalists that the Saudis assured him "they will conduct a complete, thorough investigation of all the facts."

"I think it's important for us all to remember, too - we have a long, since 1932, a long strategic relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Sec. Pompeo said, also calling Saudi Arabia "an important counterterrorism partner".

Sec. Pompeo told reporters he had made clear to the Saudis in his visit to Riyadh that "we take this matter with respect to Mr Khashoggi very seriously.

"They made clear to me that they too understand the serious nature of the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi. They also assured me that they will conduct a complete, thorough investigation of all of the facts surrounding Mr Khashoggi and that they will do so in a timely fashion," Sec. Pompeo added.

Turkish investigators left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul early on Thursday after again searching the building and consular vehicles.

TOP TRUMP AIDE WON'T ATTEND SAUDI CONFERENCE

Another senior member of Mr Trump's team, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said he will not attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Mnuchin made the announcement on his Twitter account, saying that the decision was made after a White House meeting with Mr Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mr Mnuchin said in his tweet, "I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia."

His announcement comes after Sec. Pompeo told reporters at the White House that the administration would await the outcome of investigations by Saudi Arabia and Turkey into the disappearance of Khashoggi before deciding how the US will respond.

 

Turkish police search the rooftop of the Saudi Arabian consulate as investigations continue into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Picture: Getty Images
Turkish police search the rooftop of the Saudi Arabian consulate as investigations continue into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Picture: Getty Images

The Future Investment Initiative conference takes place on October 23-25 in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. It was set up last year as a kind of "Davos in the Desert" for the world's business elite to network.

Mnuchin joins a growing number of global leaders who have decided to pull out of the summit, including International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, as well as senior government officials from France, Britain and the Netherlands.

DOCTOR SPEACIALISED IN 'MOBILE AUTOPSIES'

Meanwhile, a former UK student named as part of a hit squad which "tortured and killed" Khashoggi specialised in mobile autopsies allowing him to cut up bodies quickly.

In a 2014 interview with a Saudi newspaper, Dr Salah al-Tubaigy praised a new portable clinic designed to carry out autopsies anywhere in a record seven minutes, reports The Sun.

It's since been claimed Kashoggi was tortured and dismembered for exactly that time inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Tubaigy told London-based Asharq al-Awsat it was his idea to design the clinic to allow coroners to perform forensic examinations and dissect bodies at crime scenes.

 

'HIT SQUAD' CROWN PRINCE'S 'SECURITY DETAIL'

Seven of the 15 men suspected of belonging to the "hit squad" are reportedly part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's personal security detail.

Most are said to be high-ranking protection officers who were on duty when the Saudi royal made his high-profile visits to the UK and France earlier this year.

They are the highly-trusted team who travel everywhere with the royal - which will make it difficult for bin Salman to distance himself from the torture scandal in Istanbul.

Dr Salah al-Tubaigy boasted of his ability to perform autopsies in seven minutes. Picture: Supplied
Dr Salah al-Tubaigy boasted of his ability to perform autopsies in seven minutes. Picture: Supplied

At least three of the elite guards are reported to have accompanied him on his visit to London in March when he met the Queen in Buckingham Palace.

They are said to be First Lieutenant Dhaar Ghalib Dhaar Al-Harbi, Sergeant Major Walid Abdullah Al-Shihri, and Abdul Aziz Muhammad Musa Al-Hawsawi.

It's now been claimed the murder suspects ate dinner at the Saudi consul-general's residence in Istanbul after murdering and dismembering Khashoggi inside the building, reports Middle East Eye (MME).

Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi was killed brutally during a planned visit to the consulate in Turkey on October 2.

 

 

The international writer had his fingers torn off one by one by his torturers before he was decapitated and his body was later dissolved in acid, according to horrific reports.

The journalist was allegedly carved up with a bone saw while alive in a horrifying seven-minute execution carried out by killers listening to music on headphones.

Khashoggi was last seen alive entering the consulate on October 2, however Saudi Arabia has denied killing him and initially said he left the building unharmed.

However, a source told The Washington Post they heard a recording from his Apple Watch capturing the moment he was allegedly drugged and dismembered.

 

Queen Elizabeth II greets Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, at Buckingham Palace in March. Picture: Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II greets Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, at Buckingham Palace in March. Picture: Getty Images

The anonymous source said Khashoggi - a Saudi journalist based in the US - can be heard screaming as he's dragged from the Consul General's office to a desk in the other room.

Earlier, Mr Trump claimed the crown prince "denied all knowledge" of Khashoggi's mysterious disappearance.

Mr Trump said the royal told him an investigation was underway and promised he would get answers surrounding the writer's fate.

 

 

Mr Trump revealed on Wednesday that the US has requested audio and video from Turkey relating to missing journalist adding "if it exists".

Now the MEE reports it has a document from the Saudi Interior Ministry detailing the alleged killer's ranks, dates of birth, passport and telephone numbers and when they accompanied bin Salman on trips abroad.

 

The Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, where Jamal Khashoggi was last seen. Picture: AP
The Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, where Jamal Khashoggi was last seen. Picture: AP

 

All are reportedly are members of the crown prince's Special Security Force. Seven were allegedly high-ranking members of the crown prince's close protection team.

At least two of them accompanied the crown prince to France in April. They have been named by MEE as Major General Mahir Abdul Aziz Muhammad Mutrib and Colonel Badr Lafi Muhammad Al-Oteibi.

Newly released CCTV pictured are said to show Mr Mutrib outside the consulate on the day Khashoggi disappeared.

Turkish media published the names and photos of the 15 suspects last week after it was suspected Khashoggi had been killed and dismembered shortly after entering the consulate.

 

 

 

 

Suspects in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. Picture: AP
Suspects in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. Picture: AP

 

Several of the suspects arrived at Ataturk airport on commercial flights in the early hours on October 2, while others arrived on a private jet from Riyadh later that morning.

A second private jet landed in Istanbul that afternoon, when three suspects also flew in on commercial flights.

The suspects checked into two hotels near to the Saudi consulate but all left the country within hours of their arrival.

 

- with The Sun



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