‘Expert sent to hide Khashoggi death’

The late Khashoggi disappeared on October 2

The late Khashoggi disappeared on October 2

Saudi Arabia sent a toxicologist and a chemical expert to its consulate in Istanbul after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed, a senior Turkish official has told the BBC.

The Saudis admit the journalist was killed there last month, but their accounts have wavered on what happened.

Turkish investigators believe he was choked to death and then dismembered.

Two of his sons made an emotional appeal for their father’s body in a Sunday interview with CNN.

“All what we want right now is to bury him in al-Baqi (cemetery) in Medina (Saudi Arabia) with the rest of his family,” Salah Khashoggi said in an interview, filmed in Washington.

“I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon.”

Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia’s rulers, was killed inside the Istanbul consulate on October 2 after visiting to obtain documents he needed to get married.

The comments on Monday by the senior official echo a report in Turkey’s daily Sabah newspaper that Saudi Arabia allegedly sent chemist Ahmed Abdulaziz Aljanobi and toxicology expert Khaled Yahya al-Zahran as part of a delegation tasked with erasing evidence in the consulate.

The newspaper alleges the team visited the building every day from October 12 until the October 17, before leaving the country three days later.

The latest reports about Khashoggi’s death come on the same day Saudi Arabia is appearing before a United Nations human rights panel in Geneva.

The president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Bandar al-Aiban, told the panel that King Salman had instructed prosecutors to investigate the killing and bring perpetrators to justice.

The official narrative of what happened to Khashoggi has shifted several times since he went missing.

Initially, Saudi officials said he had left the consulate alive, then that he had died in a fist-fight, before describing his death as “murder” and pre-meditated as a result of a “rogue operation”.

Istanbul’s Chief Public Prosecutor Irfan Fidan, who is leading the investigation, said last week he believed the journalist was “choked to death immediately” after he entered the building on October 2, before his body was dismembered and destroyed.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the order to kill him came from “the highest levels of the Saudi government”, but, stressing Turkey’s “friendly” ties with Saudi Arabia, he said he did not believe King Salman was involved. -BBC

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