Salah Khashoggi met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been accused of orchestrating his father’s killing. (AP: Saudi Press Agency)
The son of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi has shaken hands with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the man accused of orchestrating his father’s killing.
The photo op in Riyadh came as more details emerged of what Turkish authorities say was a Saudi hit squad’s pre-meditated murder of the dissident journalist.
Britain’s Sky News, citing two sources, reported that parts of Khashoggi’s body had been found in Istanbul.
Sky said one source said the remains were in the garden of the Saudi Consul General’s home, located 500 metres from the consulate.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called the reports “disturbing”.
“I am aware of the reports, they are deeply disturbing … the location of Mr Khashoggi’s body is just one of the questions we need answers to and as such we await the full results of the Turkish investigation,” a spokesperson for Ms May said.
Turkish state media said investigators found three suitcases, a laptop computer and clothing inside a car belonging to the Saudi consulate.
In Riyadh, Saudi King Salman and the Crown Prince met the journalist’s son, Salah, and his brother, Sahel, at the Yamama Palace, and expressed their condolences.
A friend of the Khashoggi family said Salah has been under a travel ban since last year. The individual spoke on condition of anonymity to the AP news agency, fearing reprisal.
Saudis admit team was sent to Istanbul
Facing global outrage over Khashoggi’s killing, Saudi officials are now acknowledging that the journalist was targeted inside the Istanbul consulate in Turkey and a body double was on hand to aid in a cover-up.
The new version of events, described to AP by two Saudi officials, comes three weeks after the kingdom said Khashoggi left the consulate on his own and insisted Turkish claims he was killed by an assassination squad were unfounded.
Now Saudi officials say they did in fact send a team to Turkey that included a forensics expert and a member whose job was to dress in the 59-year-old writer’s clothes and pretend to be him — though they still insist that his death was an accident.
Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote for the Washington Post, had gone to the consulate to get papers for his upcoming wedding.
Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi and his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, at an apartment building in Istanbul, Turkey. (AP: A News)
Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, has come under mounting pressure, with critics suspecting he ordered the high-profile operation or at least knew about it. Saudi authorities say they have arrested 18 suspects and dismissed senior officials.
The Prince appeared briefly at an afternoon panel Tuesday alongside Jordan’s King Abdullah II, but made no public remarks.
Turkish crime scene investigators leave an underground car park after looking for clues. (AP: Emrah Gurel)
He said three operatives arrived in Istanbul the day before on an apparent reconnaissance mission. The next day 15 people came to the consulate.
Mr Erdogan alleged the group travelled to the consulate and called the journalist to confirm his appointment to seek documentation he needed to marry his fiancee.
“The first thing they did was remove the hard disk and camera of the consulate,” Mr Erdogan said.