Audio of Khashoggi's Murder May Implicate Saudi Crown Prince

Clay Curtis
November 14, 2018

Khashoggi's killing has provoked global outrage but little concrete action by world powers against Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter and a supporter of Washington's plans to contain Iranian influence across the Middle East. Which is very handy indeed.

Bob Baer, who worked as a Central Intelligence Agency case officer primarily in the Middle East, told CNN's Jake Tapper that the USA has purposely muted its response to Khashoggi's murder, despite mounting evidence - including audio recordings - that some suggest implicates the Saudi Crown Prince.

After pretending Khashoggi's murder was a non-issue for weeks, on October 20 the government was forced to ditch Australia's diplomatic representation at the Saudis' Future Investment Initiative after regime officials admitted Khashoggi had been "killed" in the Istanbul embassy in a "fistfight" - one of many lies from the Saudis, who had initially claimed Khashoggi left the embassy safely.

It comes as Turkey's president claimed the audio recordings of Jamal Khashoggi's murder were so "appalling" that a shocked Saudi intelligence officer who listened to them said the killer must have been on heroin.

Khashoggi, a former palace insider who turned critic, was strangled to death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and his body dismembered, the city's chief prosecutor has said.

Speaking to reporters in Singapore ahead of a regional summit, Bolton said he hasn't listened to the recording himself, however.

"The crown prince says 'I will clarify the matter, I will do what is necessary".

CNN has not heard the recording and is unable to verify the voices on the tape or what they're purported to say.

Citing three unnamed people familiar with the recording, the Times report says the call was made by Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of the Saudi team allegedly sent to kill the Washington Post columnist.

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A member of the Saudi kill team responsible for the assassination at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul reportedly can be heard saying on the phone, "tell your boss" and "the deed was done", after Khashoggi was murdered.

These had led Ankara to conclude from an early stage that the killing was premeditated, despite Saudi Arabia's initial denials of any knowledge or involvement.

"No Saudi prince has ever done this ever in its history", Baer said.

Asked again if the audio tape provided by Turkey did not link Prince Mohammed to the killing in any way, Bolton said: "I haven't listened to the tape myself but in the assessment of those who have listened to it, that is right".

Erdogan said the killing was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government, but that he could not think it came from King Salman, for whom he has "limitless respect".

'It must be revealed who gave them the order to murder'. Prior to the visit, the British government said Hunt "will call on the Saudi authorities to do more to deliver justice and accountability for the Khashoggi family".

"The head of the investigation unit at the Daily Sabah, Nazif Kerman, emphasised that Khashoggi was strangled by a bag placed on his head, according to sound recordings seized by the Turkish authorities".

Saudi state media said King Salman sacked him and other officials over the killing, and a senior Saudi official said last month that Qahtani had been detained.

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