Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate on October 2.
A prominent regime critic, he never emerged alive, clearly killed inside the facility, his body believed dismembered and secretly flown to the kingdom to dispose of the evidence.
According to the Turkish daily Sabah broadsheet, Khashoggi’s Apple watch recorded his torture and murder by a Saudi security team dispatched to Istanbul on the day he entered the consulate, returning to the kingdom less than 24 hours later.
“The moments when Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and murdered were recorded in the Apple Watch’s memory,” the broadsheet said, adding:
Khashoggi’s watch was synched to the iPhone in his fiancee’s possession, waiting for him outside the consulate.
Turkish authorities claim they obtained audio and video recordings of Khashoggi’s interrogation, torture and murder, how unexplained.
The Sabah broadsheet claimed “reliable sources in a special (Turkish) intelligence department” provided information it reported. It’s believed Khashoggi turned on his iphone recording feature before entering the consulate.
After his murder, Saudi officials sent from the kingdom realized the watch was recording, used his finger print to unlock it, deleted some files, not all of them, recordings found on his mobile phone held by his fiancee, according to the broadsheet.
It’s unclear if the report is accurate or if technology enables iphone recordings to be synced to another mobile phone at another location.
Turkish authorities reportedly know where in the consulate Khashoggi was killed and dismembered, precisely where to look in conducting their forensic analysis of the facility if allowed in unrestricted.
On Sunday in London, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said “(w)e launched an investigation after Khashoggi’s disappearance. (It’s) getting deeper,” adding:
Turkish and Saudi authorities agreed on forming a joint working group on the incident. Why he didn’t explain if his government has damning evidence, showing kingdom responsibility for Khashoggi’s disappearance, torture and murder.
The Saudis claim otherwise, wanting the issue resolved without blaming them for what happened.
So far, Saudi cooperation “has fallen short of what it should be,” said Cavusoglu, adding “(f)or everything to be cleared up, we would like to see this.”
After agreeing give a Turkish forensic team access to its facilities, the Saudis rescinded the offer after members of its 15-member security team dispatched to Istanbul were identified.
According to the Middle East Eye (MEE), “Khashoggi was dragged from the consul general’s office inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday before he was brutally murdered by two men who cut up his body,” citing Turkish sources involved in the investigation.
Turkish authorities may dig up the Saudi consul general’s garden a few hundred meters from the consulate to see if Khashoggi’s remains are buried there, MEE reported.
The consul general remained in his home for three days, cancelling all appointments. Turkish authorities want to search the consulate, his residence, and cars registered to the consulate for evidence of Khashoggi’s murder and likely dismemberment.
According to MEE, Turkish police investigators already have enough damning evidence from searching the sewage system connected to the consulate.
A Final Comment
Riyadh vowed it would retaliate against nations imposing sanctions on the kingdom in response to the Khashoggi incident, a regime statement saying:
“The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure.”
“The kingdom also affirms that it will respond to any action with a bigger one.”
Saudi oil and wealth have clout. Imposition of US and EU sanctions is highly unlikely.
There’s little doubt about kingdom responsibility for Khashoggi’s disappearance and murder. Its horrendous human rights abuses are well-known, accountability never forthcoming.
Nor is it likely for the Khashoggi incident or any others like it, not as long as the West values its oil, purchases of its weapons, and large-scale investments.