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Post: Turkey has recordings showing Saudi writer killed, dismembered

The Associated Press
FILE - In this March 22, 2018, file photo, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon in Washington. In a kingdom once ruled by an-ever aging rotation of elderly monarchs, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stands out as a youthful face of a youthful nation. But behind a carefully coiffed public-relations operation highlighting images of him smiling in meetings with the world’s top business executives and leaders like President Donald Trump, a darker side lurks as well.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey’s government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video proof that missing Saudi Arabian writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Washington Post reported Friday.

The newspaper, for which Khashoggi is a columnist, cited anonymous officials as saying the recordings show a Saudi security team detained the writer when he went to the consulate on Oct. 2 to pick up a document for his upcoming wedding.

The Associated Press was not immediately able to confirm the report, and Turkish officials would not comment.

A delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey Friday as part of an investigation into the writer’s disappearance, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu said.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegation it abducted or harmed Khashoggi “baseless.” However, it has offered no evidence to support its claim he left the consulate and vanished despite his fiance waiting outside.

Anadolu Agency said the delegation would hold talks with Turkish officials over the weekend. It did not provide further details.

On Thursday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey and Saudi Arabia would form a “joint working group” to look into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The 59-year-old journalist, who was considered close to the Saudi royal family, had became a critic of the current government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old heir apparent who has introduced reforms but shown little tolerance for criticism.

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FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2011 file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Khashoggi was a Saudi insider. He rubbed shoulders with the Saudi royal family and supported its efforts to nudge the entrenched ultraconservative clerics to accept reforms. He was a close aide to the kingdom’s former spy chief and was a leading voice in the country’s prominent dailies. In a dramatic twist of fate, Khashoggi disappeared on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, after visiting his country’s consulate in Istanbul and may have been killed there. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year. As a contributor to the Washington Post, he has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticism of its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.

Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince, who has also presided over a roundup of activists and businessmen.