One of the Saudi team who killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month reportedly told a superior over the phone to “tell your boss” that the mission had been carried out, in what is believed to be a reference to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The remarks, which were said to have been picked up in a recording collected by Turkish intelligence, were made shortly after the journalist, a US resident, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, three people familiar with the recording told the New York Times.
The newspaper said the clip was shared last month with the CIA. director, Gina Haspel, and is regarded by intelligence officials as some of the strongest evidence linking Prince Mohammed – the country’s de facto leader – to the killing of the Washington Post columnist on October 2.
The person speaking in Arabic during the recording is Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of the 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul to confront Khashoggi, the paper reported. The prince was not mentioned by name.
Mutreb is a security officer who frequently travelled with Prince Mohammed, while the other person on the call is believed to be one of the prince’s aides.
Mutreb also said words to the effect of “the deed was done”, the sources told the paper.
The call was part of a recording that Turkish officials played for Ms. Haspel during her visit in October to Ankara, Turkey’s capital, but they did not allow her to bring it back to the United States. On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey announced that his government had shared the audio with Saudi Arabia, the United States and other Western allies.
But while Turkish officials have played the recording for American and other intelligence agencies and provided transcripts, the Turks have not handed over the recording for independent analysis, according to Turkish officials.
Source: The New York Times