Police in Turkey are investigating the possible presence of chemical traces and tampered evidence at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, the last place where Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi was seen alive two weeks ago. “My hope is that we can obtain results that allow us to form a reasonable opinion of what happened.
Because right now the investigation examines many things, for example if there are toxic or not, or if there are things that have been modified by painting on them, “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained Tuesday to questions from the press in Ankara.
In the first register, which began on Monday and lasted for nine hours until dawn on Tuesday, 10 agents of the scientific police and the anti-terrorist unit accompanied by a prosecutor reviewed the consular legation and took samples inside and outside the building that They were taken in four vehicles.
According to the Turkish media, it could be seen how the lights of the building were turned off and the researchers used ultraviolet light in search of evidence. Police dogs and luminol were also used , a chemical that reacts to the presence of blood and allows to find traces imperceptible to the naked eye. In fact, on Tuesday afternoon a source of Turkish security assured the AP agency that “certain evidence” would have been found that would prove that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate.
The Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Çavusoglu, reported that the registers will continue on Tuesday and will be extended to several vehicles and to the residence of the Saudi consul, where several Saudi agents arrived in Istanbul on the same day of the disappearance of the journalist.
It is believed that the corpse could be moved there. There are several hypotheses about what might have happened, some say that the body could be dismembered, others that acids were used to dissolve it.
CNN says that ” the Saudis are preparing a report that recognizes that Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was trying to kidnap him from Turkey .” According to one of the sources contacted by US television, the Saudis will reportedly report that the operation was trying to kidnap the journalist, who was very critical of the current Saudi government, but it was carried out “without authorization”.
This would allow accusing “uncontrolled” members of the secret services and thus protect the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (MBS). But several analysts and experts consider it unlikely that such an operation would be carried out without the knowledge of MBS, taking into account the tight control exercised within the Wahhabi monarchy.
The head of Turkish diplomacy explained that the prosecution could call to declare the responsible of the Saudi consulate but admitted that, in enjoying immunity, Saudi diplomats can not be retained in the country and can travel when they like. A few hours after these statements, the Saudi general consul in Istanbul, Mohamed al Otaibi, very questioned by the management of the Khashoggi case , took a flight back to his country.
Çavusoglu also said that, for the time being, Turkey “has not received any confession” from Saudi Arabia. Although he said he expects his US counterpart, Mike Pompeo, to provide new information when he arrives in Turkey after his visit to Riyadh to discuss the Khashoggi affair.
In the Saudi capital, Pompeo met for a quarter of an hour with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and for more than half an hour with MBS, the strong man of the regime, as well as with the Foreign Minister, Adel al Jubeir. Heather Nauert, the spokeswoman for the US State Department, explained that the Saudi authorities agreed with Pompeo on the need for a “thorough, transparent and reasonable investigation” of what happened. “Determining what happened to Jamal Khashoggi is something that is very important for President [Donald Trump],” the US spokeswoman said.
From the UN, the high commissioner of Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, complained about the slowness of the investigation because, she said, ” two weeks is a long time so that a crime scene is not subject to a complete forensic examination “.
In addition, he asked that the inviolability of those responsible for the alleged murder be lifted: “Under international law, both a forced disappearance and an extrajudicial killing are very serious crimes, and immunity should not be used to prevent the investigation of what happened.” The children of Khashoggi have also called for “the urgent training of an international, independent and impartial commission” to investigate “the disappearance and contradictory news about his death,” reports Efe.