Sources claim that Turkish authorities secretly bugged the Saudi consulate in a clandestine operation which could blow relations between the two countries out of the water.

The case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has entered new territory after it was revealed that the Turkish government could hold damning audio recordings of Khashoggi’s murder.

Sources claim that Turkish authorities secretly bugged the Saudi consulate in a clandestine operation which could blow relations between the two countries out of the water.

Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée, but hasn’t been seen since.

Al Jazeera reports that a new delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in the Turkish capital, Ankara, today for an investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance. The visit follows an announcement that Turkey had accepted a Saudi proposal to launch joint investigations into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Human rights group Amnesty International has called for Saudi Arabia to reveal Khashoggi’s “fate and whereabouts at this time”.

US and Turkish officials told the Washington Post that there are audio and video recordings proving Khashoggi was tortured and murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Video recordings show a Saudi hit squad seizing the journalist after he walked in on October 2nd. He was then killed and his body dismembered, the officials told the Post – the newspaper that Khashoggi wrote for as a columnist. The audio was particularly gruesome, the source said.

“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” said one official.

“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic. You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured, and then murdered.”

One source says spies have “robust electronic devices” that can allow them to listen to what’s going on inside buildings from outside.

Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud, a Saudi prince living in exile in Germany, told The Independent newspaper that luring dissidents to meetings to “disappear” them is a common strategy used by Saudi leaders.

He said at least five Saudi royals last week approached the leadership in Riyadh about Khashoggi’s disappearance, and they were detained.

Meanwhile, media companies have pulled out of a Saudi investment conference because of growing outrage over Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Economist Editor-In-Chief Zanny Minton Beddoes will not participate in the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.

Andrew Ross Sorkin, a CNBC anchor and New York Times business journalist, tweeted he was not attending the conference, saying he was “terribly distressed by the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and reports of his murder”.

The New York Times has also decided to pull out of the event as a media sponsor, spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said.

Virgin’s Richard Branson has suspended talks on US$1 billion Saudi investment in space ventures following the unfortunate events.

“What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government,” Branson said.

Branson also said he would suspend his directorship in two Saudi tourism projects around the Red Sea, citing Khashoggi’s disappearance.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United States has investigators overseas to assist Turkey in its investigation of the journalist’s disappearance and that they were also working with Saudi Arabia.

Prominent Palestinian-British activist and TV presenter Azzam Tamimi dedicated his show on Thursday night to Khashoggi.

US Senator Lindsey Graham told Al Jazeera that he has read US intelligence that points to the Saudi government’s involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi.

“I’ve already seen the intel. It was very unnerving. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out,” Graham said.

While, Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, warned against Saudi Arabia’s participation in any official probe.

“Given that Saudi Arabia will not provide any evidence about Khashoggi’s movements in and out of the consulate, they cannot be trusted to conduct a genuine – far less effective – investigation,” Whitson said.

However, Istanbul’s public prosecutor said he would continue the current investigation separately and Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has promised to share the results of the probe into the journalist’s disappearance.

“We will share with the international community everything we will learn in the course of the investigation,” Cavusoglu said in a televised announcement.

Finally, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said sanctions will be imposed at the “highest levels” of the Saudi leadership if Riyadh is found to have a hand in the disappearance of Khashoggi.

“If it turns out to be what we think it is today but don’t know, there will have to be significant sanctions placed at the highest levels,” the Republican senator said.


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