The Turkish government has told US authorities it has audio and video recordings capturing the gruesome murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
The recordings reveal the capture of Khashoggi by Saudi security forces and is subsequent interrogation, torture, murder and dismemberment, The Washington Post reports.
“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” a source has told the Post.
“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic.
“You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
Khashoggi, an outspoken critic the present Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, visited the consulate on October 2 to obtain documentation in advance of his wedding.
The revelations come amid a widespread demand for answers about Khashoggi’s fate.
Global business leaders are meanwhile reassessing their ties with Saudi Arabia, stoking pressure on the Gulf kingdom to explain what happened to the dissident.
British billionaire Richard Branson today suspended business links with Saudi Arabia, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he might not attend a major investment conference in the country this month as a result of reports surrounding Khashoggi.
“What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government,” Branson said in a statement.
Branson, founder of Virgin Group, says he will suspend his role as director in two tourism projects in Saudi Arabia while an investigation takes place.
He also is putting on hold discussions about a proposed Saudi investment in space companies Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.
Saudi Arabia is facing increasing international pressure to clarify what happened to Khashoggi, with US President Donald Trump and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt among those demanding answers.
Khosrowshahi is scheduled to speak at the Future Investment Initiative conference, and event loosely nicknamed the “Davos of the Desert” that takes place October 23-25 in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
“I’m very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi,” Khosrowshahi said.
“We are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won’t be attending the FII conference in Riyadh.”
The investment conference lists dozens of expected speakers, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Blackrock Chairman Larry Fink and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the latter confirming today that he will go.
“I am planning on going at this point,” he told broadcaster CNBC.
“If more information comes out and changes, we could look at that.”
Joe Kaeser, the president and CEO of German industrial giant Siemens AG, also still plans to attend for now.
The Financial Times, which is listed as a media partner to the event, announced it would no longer be doing so.
“The Financial Times will not be partnering with the FII conference in Riyadh while the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi remains unexplained,” Finola McDonnell, the head of communications, said in a tweet.
CNN canceled its partnership, and said its anchors and reporters would no longer moderate panels.
The New York Times and its business columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin similarly pulled out of the event.
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