- Jamal Khashoggi’s body may have been dissolved with acid after he was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, multiple outlets have cited investigators as saying.
- The Saudi journalist’s remains may have then been transported to the Saudi consul’s house, investigators reportedly said.
- Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the consulate on October 2.
- Turkish officials have continually leaked details implicating Saudi Arabia in the suspected murder. Riyadh continues to deny knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts.
The body of the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been dissolved with acid, multiple outlets report.
Khashoggi, who wrote critical columns about his country for The Washington Post, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and has not been seen since. A mounting pile of evidence suggests he was killed there.
One theory that investigators in Turkey are pursuing is that Khashoggi’s remains were destroyed in a “very fast-acting chemical acid,” Sky News reported on Thursday.
The report cited an unnamed source close to an investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance. Sky did not say which country the source was working for.
Multiple news outlets have reported, citing Turkish investigators or officials, that Khashoggi was dismembered and that his remains were transported to the official residence of Saudi Arabia’s consul in Istanbul, Mohammed al-Otaibi.
Kemal Ozturk, a former press adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, citing unnamed security sources, on Wednesday said Khashoggi’s body might have been “vaporized” somewhere between the Saudi Consulate and Otaibi’s house.
That theory “is gaining ground,” Ozturk wrote in his column for Turkey’s pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper, adding that the vaporization “could have been done with barrels full of acid or some other way.”
Turkish investigators on Thursday finished searching the Saudi consul’s official residence in Istanbul. A video of them leaving the residence, published by Yeni Safak, showed an official with apparent blood stains on his hazmat suit.
- Yeni Safak
The theory that Khashoggi’s body was destroyed with acid came as news outlets reported further gruesome details of the journalist’s alleged murder, citing unnamed Turkish officials.
Ankara also claims to have graphic audio and video footage of Khashoggi being killed. But it has not shared any of it with the US or European allies, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing seven US and European security officials.
An unnamed senior Turkish official told The New York Times on Wednesday that a Saudi agent beat and tortured Khashoggi in the Saudi consul’s office and at some point cut off his fingers. The Turkish official added that the agent eventually beheaded Khashoggi and dismembered his body.
Turkish security officials also told the paper last week that a team of Saudi agents took a bone saw into the consulate, describing the suspected killing as “like ‘Pulp Fiction.'”
On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal cited Turkish officials as saying that Saudi agents beat, drugged, killed, and dismembered Khashoggi in front of Otaibi, the Saudi consul.
- Kemal Aslan/Reuters
Anonymous Turkish officials have continually leaked horrific details of what they say happened to Khashoggi and have appeared to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for it.
The Saudis have continuously denied knowledge of his whereabouts and even expressed concern for Khashoggi’s well-being.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday doubted that Turkish officials had audio and video recordings of Khashoggi’s last moments.
Khashoggi’s editor at The Washington Post, Karen Attiah, published what she described as his final column on Thursday with the note: “The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen.”